U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testified that hospitals and medical professionals were driving up coronavirus death counts due to a “perverse incentive.”
During a hearing with the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Friday, Redfield reportedly also admitted that these health facilities and personnel would list a victim who died to another cause as having died to the coronavirus “because there is greater reimbursement.”
As BizPac Review reports, Redfield answered in the affirmative when Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer asked about a “perverse incentive for medical folks to claim that somebody died of COVID versus an automobile accident, for instance.”
“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,” Redfield answered.
He continued, via the report:
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.
Watch a 3-minute segment of Redfield’s testimony below:
This confirmation comes months after the issue was initially brought to mainstream media attention by several doctors, including Dr. Scott Jensen, MD, who said in April that he was told to misclassify deaths at his hospital.
BizPac Review reports:
One of the first to speak out about it was Dr. Scott Jensen, MD, who also happens to be a Republican member of the Minnesota Senate. In an interview back in April, he revealed he’d received a disturbing guidance from the CDC’s own National Vital Statistics System urging him to misclassify unrelated deaths.
“Last Friday I received a 7-page document that told me if I had an 86-year-old patient that had pneumonia but was never tested for COVID-19, but some time after she came down with pneumonia we learned that she had been exposed to her son who had no symptoms but later on was identified with COVID-19, then it would be appropriate to diagnose on the death certificate COVID-19,” he said at the time.