During a hearing by the House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Friday, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) asked whether hospitals have “perverse incentive” to inflate COVID-19 fatality numbers.
Shockingly, Redfield admitted that they do.
“I think you’re correct in that we’ve seen this in other disease processes, too,” Redfield said.
“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,” he explained. “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,” he continued. “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.