The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated its guidance related to hospital COVID-19 data reporting.
Throughout the pandemic, hospital data has been collected and visualized at the federal level in two primary locations: HHS Protect and HHS Protect Public. Federal decision-makers and analysts can access the data through HHS Protect, whereas HHS Protect Public serves as a fully public data hub, providing aggregated content and dashboards.
The updated guidance results in a net reduction of approximately 30 percent of data fields. These fields will be inactive for federal collection; however, the reporting templates will not remove these fields so hospitals may continue to report if desired. HHS recommends hospitals make these fields inactive rather than fully removing the fields from their internal reporting systems.
The guidance also includes the addition of pediatric capacity, severity, and age questions, as well as therapeutic D (sotrovimab). Further, the guidance changes certain influenza fields from voluntary to mandatory.
The majority of the capacity and occupancy fields will remain, including reporting of all hospital inpatient beds, intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and ICU bed occupancy. There also is no change to fields for hospitalized suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients and lab-confirmed COVID-19.
Of note, a CMS quality measure in use as of Oct. 1, 2021, requires reporting health care personnel COVID-19 vaccination rates on a regular basis to the National Healthcare Safety Network. The COVID-19 vaccination data elements in the HHS guidance remain optional and do not meet the requirements of the CMS quality measure.
Reporting compliance will occur in stages:
- Stage 1: implementing flexibilities for fields that have been made federally inactive, as soon as January 6;
- Stage 2: requiring therapeutic D (sotrovimab) information, January 19; and
- Stage 3: requiring influenza and new pediatric information, February 2.
HHS will air a webinar for hospitals on the new guidance multiple times in January, including (all times ET):
- Jan. 10 at 11:30 am, 2 pm, and 3 pm;
- Jan. 11 at 10 am and 3 pm;
- Jan. 13 at noon;
- Jan. 14 at noon; and
- Jan. 18 at 10 am.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.