U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s director Robert Redfield admitted that financial incentives are helping inflate COVID-19 death totals. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) asked Dr. Redfield about what he called a “perverse incentive,” and Dr. Redfield responded confirming there are issues.
“I think you’re correct in that we’ve seen this in other disease processes too, really in the HIV epidemic, somebody may have a heart attack, but also have HIV — the hospital would prefer the [classification] for HIV because there’s greater reimbursement.
So I do think there’s some reality to that. When it comes to death reporting, though, ultimately, it’s how the physician defines it in the death certificate and … we review all of those death certificates.
So I think, probably it is less operable in the cause of death, although I won’t say there are not some cases. I do think though [that] when it comes to hospital reimbursement issues or individuals that get discharged, there could be some play in that for sure.”
Additionally, Adm. Brett Giroir from the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department also confirmed that financial incentive exist for hospitals classifying deaths as COVID-19. Giroir said he“acknowledged that the statistics he is getting from the states are over-inflated.”
Concerns regarding over-inflated COVID-19 death totals have plagued the perception of statistical legitimacy for months. It has caused many to feel draconian shutdown measures are a result of faulty, illegitimate data. Dr. Redfield’s statements add fans to flames of a broader conspiracy.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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