NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — During the pandemic, many false or misleading theories have surfaced on social media that hospitals are counting all deaths as COVID-19 related.
Others claim doctors are diagnosing more Coronavirus cases to get money from the CARES Act.
Dr. Marshall Hall is an emergency physician and the Medical Director at TriStar Skyline Medical Center. Unfortunately, filling out COVID-19 death certificates has become a regular occurrence.
“I filled out one yesterday,” said Dr. Hall.
He admits, even friends and family have asked how he reports to the state explaining every hospital’s death is not labeled COVID-19. Dr. Hall assesses, did the virus exacerbate or cause a condition that leads to death?
“Renal failure, liver disease, heart disease may have contributed,” said Dr. Hall, “But if it weren’t for COVID-19, they probably would still be alive. Therefore, we put that as the primary diagnosis.”
Whereas, if a victim of a car accident dies, but also tests positive for the virus, the form reads differently.
“The car crash was the cause of death,” explained Dr. Hall, “You would also put on there, COVID-19 positive.”
Dr. James Hildreth, part of Mayor John Coopers coronavirus task force sat down with News 2 anchor Alex Denis to discuss another rumor involving payments from the federal CARES Act. He doesn’t believe there is inflation of the case numbers for people to get the money.
“As a matter of fact, to be honest with you there’s a report from the CDC showing that the number of actual infections might be somewhere between 3 and 10 times higher than what we actually know,” said Dr. Hildreth.
Hildreth blames the discrepancies on a lack of national coordination. He also acknowledges there’s always bad players looking to exploit the system. But overall, physicians pride themselves on putting care first.
“I don’t know what I’m being reimbursed on that patient, and I think that’s actually a good thing,” said Dr. Hall, “Because I don’t want to ever be accused of trumping up a charge or something like that along the way.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.