US governors urge White House to delay changes to hospital reporting requirements

The National Governors Association is asking the Trump administration to delay its decision to shift hospital reporting requirements for COVID-19 data from the CDC to HHS, CNBC reports.

"The National Governors Association, on behalf of the governors in all 55 states and territories, urges the Trump administration to delay the changes to hospital reporting requirements announced on Monday for 30 days," reads a July 16 statement. The group is also asking that the information be made publicly available.

On July 15, hospitals began reporting daily COVID-19 data on patient volumes, bed counts and available supplies to HHS instead of the CDC after HHS officials said the CDC's reporting infrastructure was outdated. After the change, previously public data on hospital bed availability disappeared from the CDC's website. Some were later republished, though the CDC hasn't updated the data since July 14 and said it doesn't plan to continue updates. CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said the agency still has access to the data. 

"The sudden changes impose undue burdens on state health departments and hospital systems, which are already working at full capacity," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, chair of the National Governors Association, tweeted July 16.

Forty-six Democratic senators sent a letter July 17 to Vice President Mike Pence and Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, asking for a reverse of the policy change. 

HHS officials have repeatedly said the agency is committed to transparency. "We will publish data from all reporting hospitals, whether they report directly through TeleTracking or through their states or state hospital associations," an HHS spokesperson told CNBC, adding that the agency is working with the CDC to develop new dashboards expected to go live "in a few days."  

More articles on public health:
10 states with largest spikes in daily coronavirus deaths since June 1
27 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: July 17
Social distancing may reduce polio-like illness in kids this year, experts say


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