New regulation would send hospitals' pandemic data back to CDC

Despite its difficulties collecting hospital data throughout the pandemic, the CDC plans to add data collection back into its repertoire according to a proposed regulation, reported by Bloomberg March 14. 

The regulation, which Bloomberg obtained from a CMS draft, would require hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs to report data to the CDC's infection tracker, the National Healthcare Safety Network. 

Although some supporters of the proposed change say it will help the CDC increase the ease with which it analyzes and receives data, however its also has some staunch opponents given issues with NHSN in 2020. 

During the pandemic, HHS officials asked staff to move away from NHSN data collection due to issues with speed and pace. 

"If CDC's NHSN system is responsible for collecting pandemic data in the future, it will inevitably fail and put the nation at risk," said Jose Arrieta, the chief information and data officer at HHS in 2020. "NHSN is not flexible enough technically to collect the data."

However, the former CDC chief of staff Kyle McGowan defended the system, saying; "the CDC has never been given the tools to do its job. The CMS rule is needed and will help them do that job."

CMS did not return any requests for comment by Bloomberg. Read the full piece here.


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