“You need a panel of experts to review the cases to determine if a hospitalization is for someone who came in for Covid or with Covid,” Topol said. “It is not something that is coded in the diagram. Many people would say that someone came in with Covid, but it was actually Covid that aggravated the lung or heart disease. “
The Trump administration launched a similar effort at the height of the 2020 pandemic. While some hospital networks have changed how they enter Covid-19 admissions since then, many have not been able to consistently separate people arriving at the non-Covid facility. . causes – for example, for a heart problem or a broken leg – and those who test positive for the virus on arrival. The two senior Biden officials said the process of getting every hospital in the country to report accurately is likely to take several months.
“While the guidance and intent of collecting hospital data is to capture people hospitalized for Covid (vs. with Covid), the reported data varies in practice from unit to unit,” a senior HHS official told POLITICO in a declaration. “Some devices may be delimited … but we do not do this in the national dataset.”
Biden officials are conducting a national review of hospitalization data to determine how many individuals sought care for Covid-19 and unrelated causes during the peak of the Omicron spread. IN a CDC report published last week, a California hospital found that 80 percent of its patients entered the facility for Covid-19, and 20 percent were admitted “primarily for non-COVID-19 conditions.”
Talks about recalculating hospital admissions rose during the spread of Omicron, said one of the two senior officials. As the highly transmissible variant began to move across the country, hospitals began to see an increase in the number of people arriving for non-Covid care and testing positive during screenings, distorting national hospitalization rates.
Administration officials moved to recalculate hospitalization rates to better understand the dangers of the variant.
In a press briefing on February 2, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said both hospitalization and death rates – as well as vaccination rates – are the key to deciding whether public health measures such as masking should be lifted.
As Omicron cases have declined, government and local officials across the country have called for the country to begin returning to normal and light public health measures. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Delaware Gov. John Carney, both Democrats, announced Monday that they plan to repeal mask mandates for schools in March.
But Walensky has said case rates are more helpful in predicting Covid-19 trends. “Our hospitalization rates are still quite high,” Walensky said on February 3. The current national admission rate is still slightly higher than the rate below the peak of the Delta variant increase, according to data collected by the CDC.