WTF Community

Day 1315

💌 Send me a handwritten postcard or letter with advice for the future generation about wtf has happened over the last four years and what needs to be done. Not sure where to start? Consider the Trump administration’s impact on climate change, healthcare, immigration, education, civil rights, or whatever, like this goddamn pandemic, and how it’s changed you, your relationships, and your outlook for the future.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I was looking for some explanations and without knowing who ‘Becker Hospital Review’ - Laura Dryda seems to explain pretty clearly the underlying conditions for it. Worth a look.

And a 2nd article on the payouts for Medicare per patient…with Covid-19.

(this links to Beckerhospitalreview - not sure WTF comes up~)

CMS issued an interim final rule on Aug. 25 that requires hospitals to report COVID-19 data to HHS in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Five things to know:

  1. The emergency regulations require hospitals and critical access hospitals to report daily COVID-19 data through the HHS portal, powered by TeleTracking and Palantir, to receive payment from CMS.

  2. Hospitals are required to report several data points, including the number of patients testing positive for COVID-19, ICU bed occupation and availability of ventilators and personal protective equipment. This information is essential for emergency planning and resource allocation during the pandemic, according to a CMS statement about the new rule.

  3. The new rule also requires all hospitals to report results of in-house COVID-19 tests.

  4. CMS may terminate Medicare and Medicaid payment to hospitals that don’t correct reporting deficiencies as well.

  5. Around 94 percent of hospitals are reporting COVID-19 information to HHS, according to a statement from American Hospital Association President Rick Pollack. He also said AHA has been working with HHS to help hospitals understand data collection requirements and worked with the agency to update contact information for hospitals, remove closed hospitals from their list and identify instances where hospitals submitted data that didn’t make it through to HHS.

“While hospitals and health systems remain focused on patient care, they’re also committed to providing our government with the public health data it needs,” said Mr. Pollack. “However, a new heavy-handed regulatory approach put forward by the Administration threatens to expel hospitals from the Medicare program. This disturbing move, announced in final form without consultation, or the opportunity to provide feedback through appropriate administrative procedures prior to it becoming effective, could jeopardize access to care and leave patients and communities without vital health services from their local hospital during a pandemic.”

And here’s the kind of money hospitals are getting for getting for Medicare patients getting treated for Covid-19. This article is from July 2020, so it is fairly recent.


Do hospitals receive more funds if they say a death is related to COVID-19? And does this mean the number of coronavirus death are false or inflated?


ABC10 can verify that hospitals do get reimbursed for coronavirus related care, which unfortunately includes deaths.

As for the the second part of our viewer’s question, a medicare spokesperson said it is unlikely.

“Claims with inaccurate diagnosis or DRG would be subject to recoupment and/or other potential civil or criminal charges for false claims.”

So far, it is unverified that hospitals are falsifying records for financial gain.


According to the US Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] which oversees the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, under the federal coronavirus aid relief bill known as the CARES Act, hospitals get an extra 20% in Medicare reimbursements on top of traditional rates due to the public health emergency.

That’s for COVID-19 related admissions, which can include deaths. The pay-out amount varies, according to a medicare spokesperson who said "medicare adjusts hospital payment based on geographic variation in local costs."

Also, earlier this month, HHS announced a second round of federal relief for hospitals in high impact areas, totaling $10 billion.

Of that second-round money, HHS reported 63 California hospitals received $50,000 for each eligible coronavirus patient they admitted between Jan. 1 and June 10, 2020. That’s a combined total of more than $607 million.


And Hurricane Laura is on her way…


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