The Department of Health and Human Services recently updated its reporting guidance for COVID-19 in hospitals, shifting data collection away from the CDC and having it go directly to HHS.
Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said the move streamlines data flow and reduces confusion with all the latest information going to one spot. Some health experts and elected officials, however, are concerned about the HHS system because it’s run by a private contractor and it’s unclear whether data will remain open to citizens.
Jeff Tieman, president and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, said he feels reassured that transparency isn’t a concern based on two calls he listened in on with senior Health and Human Services Officials.
“Both of them expressed that the CDC did not lose any access to data, but was part of the decision to move to the teletracking platform,” Tieman said. “They did not indicate any lack of transparency, and I’m persuaded to think at this point that there’s not anything harmful there.”
Last week, Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders joined 44 of their Democratic colleagues in opposing the new data collection policy. They wrote a letter to the Trump Administration calling for its reversal, adding that the changes increase the data management burden on hospitals.