In-House Hospital Labs Now Being Tracked Daily

F.J. Thomas

Washington, DC (WorkersCompensation.com) – The nation’s hospitals have been asked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Vice President Pence to report COVID-19 data on a daily basis. The Trump administration has requested that hospitals report their testing results to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The administration also requested totals of COVID-19 supplies, such as ventilators, and bed capacity be reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Submitted without any personal health identifying information, the data will be used to track the spread of the virus, and assist the administration in assessing the active need in the battle against COVID-19.

Currently, test results from public labs and private laboratories are being tracked by the CDC; however, according to a CMS Press release, data from hospital labs where tests are conducted in the facility is not tracked.

Vice President Pence sent out a letter detailing the process. Hospitals are to use an excel template and report the data by 5pm ET. Hospitals are to only report the results of those tests performed in-house, and testing submitted to outside entities do not have to be included as the laboratory entities are already reporting to the CDC. Hospitals are to report testing completed the previous day with a midnight cutoff. The spreadsheets are to be emailed to fema-hhs-covid-diagnostics-tf@fema.dhs.gov.

Bed capacity and supply information will be reported in the COVID-19 Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Module on the CDC website. The module consists of 13 data fields related to patient impact and hospital capacity. Data collected includes the number of patients suspected and confirmed with COVID-19, and current use and availability of hospital beds and ventilators. State and local health departments will have access to the NHSN data.

During a recent speech President Trump stated that his administration had encouraged state governors to go ahead and access any potential manufacturers in their states to provide the healthcare supplies needed to treat patients during the pandemic. The information being gathered in the Hospital Capacity Module could assist states in pursuing those agreements.

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