Maine hospitals navigate ‘administrative headache’ in changes to COVID-19 data reporting

The head of the Maine Hospital Association is criticizing a move from the Trump Administration that changes the way coronavirus data is being reported.Instead of reporting to the Federal Center for Disease Control, the White House ordered all hospitals to report their data to another federal database. Trump Administration officials said it will streamline the process, but Steve Michaud, Executive Director of the Maine Hospital Association, is skeptical.Michaud said the change is a big administrative headache for Maine’s 36 hospitals.”Quite frankly isn’t very helpful,” Michaud said.For the last four months, hospitals have reported critical information on the coronavirus – from available beds in the intensive care unit, to supplies of personal protective equipment – to the Federal CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. But on Tuesday, hospitals were given less than 48 hours to reroute that information to Health and Human Services.”Why are they doing this? We will see if it is to streamline and be helpful, but the concern is where it was very public at the federal CDC, if it’s no longer going to be transparent, that is a big problem,” Michaud said.Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, said the change came without any consultation from the states.”This change won’t affect how we respond to COVID-19 in the state. It does not alter our commitment to transparency,” Shah said at Thursday’s press briefing.Instead, Shah said his department is working to reestablish the same reporting system that was previously in place so that hospitals can send their information on a daily basis. From there, the Maine CDC will send that information to the federal government.

The head of the Maine Hospital Association is criticizing a move from the Trump Administration that changes the way coronavirus data is being reported.

Instead of reporting to the Federal Center for Disease Control, the White House ordered all hospitals to report their data to another federal database.

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Trump Administration officials said it will streamline the process, but Steve Michaud, Executive Director of the Maine Hospital Association, is skeptical.

Michaud said the change is a big administrative headache for Maine’s 36 hospitals.

“Quite frankly isn’t very helpful,” Michaud said.

For the last four months, hospitals have reported critical information on the coronavirus – from available beds in the intensive care unit, to supplies of personal protective equipment – to the Federal CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. But on Tuesday, hospitals were given less than 48 hours to reroute that information to Health and Human Services.

“Why are they doing this? We will see if it is to streamline and be helpful, but the concern is where it was very public at the federal CDC, if it’s no longer going to be transparent, that is a big problem,” Michaud said.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, said the change came without any consultation from the states.

“This change won’t affect how we respond to COVID-19 in the state. It does not alter our commitment to transparency,” Shah said at Thursday’s press briefing.

Instead, Shah said his department is working to reestablish the same reporting system that was previously in place so that hospitals can send their information on a daily basis. From there, the Maine CDC will send that information to the federal government.