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Cash4Covid - Hospitals are Making Money Off the Coronavirus

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Hospitals in the US are getting money for diagnosing Covid19. They get more money if those patients are then put on ventilators. It's time we really started thinking about what that means.

Early on in the launch of the Sars-Cov-2/Covid19 "pandemic", it was revealed by Dr Scott Jensen that hospitals in the US were getting paid bonuses for diagnosing Covid19 in their patients, and then larger bonuses again if those patients were put on ventilators.

We're not fact-checking that. We don't need to. It's already been done.

As soon as his words were aired, the "independent fact checkers" descended upon them in an effort to prove him wrong. They could not. Resorting instead to weasel words and obfuscations.

Snopes found his assertions "plausible", Politifact called it "half true", and FactCheck said it was true, writing:

Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment"

Before adding:

"but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting."

Which is funny because, to that point, nobody had suggested anything fraudulent. Jensen himself went out of his way to say he didn't think there was any fraud, but there was an "avenue" for it.

Obviously the "fact checkers" agreed, because they all felt the need to add very similar qualifications.

The very fact they rushed to pre-emptively defend the practice illustrates how potentially corrupt it is.

The key fact here, established and unchallenged, is that the CARES act does direct a 20% bonus Medicaid payment to hospitals for every diagnosis of Covid19, and a greater payment again for the use of a ventilator.

As I said, we're not fact-checking that. And we can't fact-check whether or not there is "fraudulent reporting", but there's no denying that these payouts potentially incentivise artificially inflating case numbers.

How big an incentive are we talking about?

The CARES act channelled $175bn dollars into the "fight" against coronavirus, including $15 billion purely for treating COVID patients without insurance.

15 BILLION dollars. That's a lot of extra money.

You couldn't blame a doctor for gaming the system to get a little for his struggling, under-funded clinic. For labelling some unknown respiratory illness "Covid19", or re-ordering a test known to create false-positives until he gets the result which may pay a nurse's salary, or re-stock a pharmacy.

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[Republished from Off-Guardian] 

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.


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