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Who didn't call it? HHS database is unreliable, state reporting is a mess, no accurate count for the number of cases...
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 31, 2020 06:33AM

But two weeks after the rules began, it’s clear that technical requirements associated with the new guidelines have caused major problems. Some of the states facing the largest COVID-19 outbreaks—such as California, Texas, and South Carolina—have warned that they are not reporting accurate hospital information due to the switchover.

These problems mean that our hospitalization data—a crucial metric of the COVID-19 pandemic—is, for now, unreliable, and likely an undercount. We do not think that either the state-level hospitalization data or the new federal data is reliable in isolation. (As we describe below, the new federal hospitalization figures are substantially higher than the same data as reported by most states.)

...California, then Texas posted notices on their dashboards stating that some hospitals were not reporting COVID-19 data due to complications related to the changeover to HHS systems. This week, South Carolina’s COVID-19 hospitalization data went missing again, and we’ve continued to see declines in other states that do not appear to match up with local trends in case counts...


Hospitals are supposed to report daily to the federal government the total many beds they have, the number occupied and the availability of intensive care beds. Under the new system, the Department of Health and Human Services aggregates the information at a state level, and shares a daily spreadsheet of the information that has been reported — gaps and all.

But the old CDC approach interpreted the data a step further. CDC posted estimates derived from the data to show an approximation of the actual availability of ICU beds, accounting for the lags and gaps in reporting. These estimates — promised on the HHS website — have not been updated in over a week.

By contrast, the CDC estimates was updated three times a week. And while the data sent to CDC was vetted for accuracy before being posted publicly, the data sent to the new platform appears to be posted as it is received and contains multiple anomalies, analysts note...

The tallies do not include certain categories of hospitals, including rehabilitation or veterans' hospitals, which have suffered COVID-19 outbreaks. These rehabilitation and veterans' hospitals had previously been included in the data reported by CDC, says the official, who spoke to NPR on background because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

..."Everyone can see where the inconsistencies are," says Panchadsaram. "The public can see it. The states can see it. The federal government can see it."

"We're sort of stuck in this moment where it's like a lot of debugging and a lot of aligning of data is happening," he says. He's hoping, though, that the issues will be resolved soon.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2020 06:39AM by Sarcany.
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Re: Who didn't call it? HHS database is unreliable, state reporting is a mess, no accurate count for the number of cases...
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 31, 2020 02:54PM

For example, here’s what the Texas data is doing:

Suddenly there’s lots more ICU beds available.

Whoops, next day there isn’t.

One graph that’s difficult to hide:

Difficult, but not impossible. As noted in the footnote to the death tracker above, when they went to the death certificates they actually found 631 more deaths that had been ascribed to Covid that somehow hadn’t previously made it into the numbers.
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