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15 July 2020

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akaPatience

The elderly account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths. It was reported in USA Today a few months ago that Medicare reimbursement for pneumonia, a major cause of death, is $5,000. IF COVID-19 is claimed as the cause of death, Medicare reimburses $13,000. I wonder how many hospital administrators are opting for more than 2.5X the Medicare reimbursement by stating the official causes of death are the virus, especially when a positive COVID test result apparently isn't required and/or if COVID isn't the primary cause of death?

BillWade

If these medical math idiots keep this up here in Florida I hope they are ready to cook their own meals 24/7 cause they are wrecking havoc on our restaurants, not to mention the lost incomes these hard working restaurant folks are experiencing.

At least our county, Charlotte, voted yesterday to no mandatory mask wearing.

Fred

This is woke war, just like with little miss SJW who sabatagued Florida's Covid-19 dashboard. Some folks should go to jail for fraud, but we only fine and jail people for going to the beach now.

Lesly

I don’t think this is a DNC conspiracy. This is a S. Florida thing.

Medical fraud is crazy high there. Scammers have used the cover of Florida’s older demographic to bill state/federal authorities for services/products neither requested nor rendered for years, perhaps decades. My mother received a call from someone to confirm she would be receiving a medical machine in the 90s. Recently my father told me about two friends who waited over two hours to get tested. They got fed up and left, but not before they signed a form with their information. They received a call about a week later informing them they tested positive. Apparently testers are getting a nice government refund for their services.

I don’t think Japan shut down their economy and they have had minimal cases/deaths due to their habit of wearing masks. The Colorado governor is right if you don’t have a medical reason to not wear a mask.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

From BBC 2018: it was sent to me by another friend and is interesting. Most probably, that epidemic completely passed you by. And yet: There were around 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017-18 -- the highest since the winter of 1975-76, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Where was the panic then?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46399090

Fred

Lesly,

Thank goodness NY,NJ,MI and all the other states are fraud free. The Japanese did not start wearing masks because of corona viruses. Try tuberculous and its history in the islands.

Eric Newhill

AkaPatience has it right. There are financial incentives to hospitals to include even a presumed diagnosis of CV-19. There are also financial incentives to cities and states to maximize case and death counts. CDC guidelines are wide open for a loose "interpretation" of what constitutes a CV-19 death. Those of us who actually look at the real data with the mission of understanding big insurance bottom lines (vents, ICU, etc. are very expensive encounters) see that a substantial proportion of CV-19 attributed hospitalizations and deaths are actually due to other causes and the CV-19 was either "presumed" or was present, but not the primary cause (e.g heart attack in a person with a history of cardiac issues).

When we look at the so called "excess deaths" across the country we are not seeing a CV-19 driven phenomenon. Looking at CV-19 in isolated geographies, such as New York City, there was a small effect, but that has stopped. More importantly, when we look at years of life lost, we are not seeing anything of note, even in NYC; meaning that the deceased are people that were expected to be deceased within 12 months CV-19 or no CV-19 - though, admittedly, that picture won't be 100% clear until a retrospective assessment next year.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

An iconoclastic take on the pandemic, and the measures taken to contain it

Some of the statements may be disputed today (this article was published about 4 weeks ago: see below), but many of the points made still stand. The author is scathing about the data and the science, and their misuse. He makes a number of obvious points about the use of [faulty] masks, among other things. Regarding children, I am not sure it is as clear-cut as he presents the facts to be.

No doubt this will be debated for many years to come, as it takes 10 to 15 years -- perhaps longer -- to get over the economic shock suffered since March 2020!

Out of curiosity, I have compiled a few figures, below, with countries that did not take drastic lockdown measures (eg: Sweden), and those that did, but a bit late (eg: France), and finally those that took them early on (eg: Vietnam). If you look at Sweden, the ratio with France is about 1 to 6, which mirrors the population figures (10m Swedes Vs 67m French people, and 5,500 dead in Sweden Vs 30,000 dead in France). In other words, the French had a complete lockdown and the Swedes did not, but the figures are comparable: on that basis, the Swedes were right and the French were wrong. But if you look at Vietnam -- an extreme case (of success) -- you have close to 100m people and zero deaths.

My conclusion would be that draconian measures early on work, but they may not be a complete and general lockdown of the entire population (as done in the UK for 4 months or so); it may be the quarantine of sick people (or suspected cases) with systematic contact tracing. But what is for sure is that a complete lockdown introduced too late (eg: UK and to a lesser extent France, Italy and Spain) is of little benefit.

The UK, thus, had the worst outcome: a complete lockdown that was introduced 10 to 20 days too late at least, and a huge shock to the economy, with 50,000 dead, which is a sad record in Europe.

Germany is a mixed model up to a point, and has done far better than France or the UK, maybe because measures were taken earlier, and also the health-care system is better resourced and more resilient (c.9,000 dead out of >80 m people).

___________________________


Sweden
Coronavirus Cases:
75,826
Deaths:
5,536
Population 10.25 m

Israel
Coronavirus Cases:
41,235
Deaths:
368
Recovered:
19,474
Pop.: 8.9 m

Germany
Coronavirus Cases:
200,436
Deaths:
9,139
Recovered:
185,100
Pop.: 83 m

France
Coronavirus Cases:
172,377
Deaths:
30,029
Recovered:
78,59
Pop.: 67 m

Vietnam
>95 m population
372 confirmed cases
No deaths (zero)

NZ
Confirmed cases 1,545
Recovered
1,498
Deaths
22
Population: 4.9 m

South Korea
Population: 62 m
Coronavirus Cases:
13,512
Deaths:
289
Recovered:
12,282
_____________

https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/06/05/lockdown-lunacy-the-thinking-persons-guide/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

turcopolier

Babak

You assume that all these countries are not lying about the numbers. Do you have some way to prove that they are not?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

Col. Lang:

I cannot prove a negative.

I am more trusting of the numbers of New Zealand and Sweden and Michigan.

turcopolier

Babak

It is an issue whether or not you can prove a negative. Why Michigan?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

The numbers from Michigan, Sweden, and France are internally consistent among one another - the ratios are close.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

There was a report of COVID-19 in Barcelona back in March of 2019.

This would mean the number of infected people is far, far higher, hence the relative death rate must be far, far lower.

Furthermore, we could be encountering different variants of the virus at different time periods and places.

It could be that the variant in Vietnam was different than the one in Wuhan or in Italy.

Furthermore, different races could have, collectively, different responses to the same pathogen; measles is not as deadly among Near Eastern children as among the Nordic children - for example.

Eric Newhill

Lesly,
You are absolutely correct. Florida is a fraud outlier. There was so much fraud on ACA insurance that at least one major insurance company will no longer offer ACA products in some of the more populous zip codes. A lot of the fraud was involving narcotics prescriptions and drug rehab centers (massive), but there was a wide variety of other forms of fraud as well. I hear the same from the Medicare Advantage teams.

Lesly

Fred,

Where did I blame COVID-19 on Japan’s history of wearing masks? I was deployed there a few years as a supply rat.

Eric,

IMO government should stay out of medicine or run it. This also goes for funding research so companies can reward shareholders w/taxpayer assistance.

turcopolier

Lesly

Yes, the government can stay out but then the medicos have to understand that their doctrinaire policies and statements have a direct effect on the economy and governance especially with a virus that is so selectively mortal.

BABAK MAKKINEJAD

Lesly

Yup, governments should stay out of medicine.

Should not license physicians
Should not license pharmacists
Should not license dentists
Should not license nurses
Should have no centralized or de-centralized public health offices
Should not mandate hygienic practices - such as latrines
Should not license medicines or otherwise regulate them
Should not fund public hospitals, mental institutions, etc.
Should not interfere as millions become incapacitated or crippled over a 3-cent treatment.


Lesly

Babak, you’re conflating administrative/regulatory law with funding in some of your statements. I’m fine with legislating some minimum requirements but it’s obvious we don’t spend enough to significantly reduce fraud in hotspots when we don’t have new diseases.

J

Medical Totalitarinism anyone?

Walmart, Kroger Will Require Shoppers To Wear Masks, Joining Other Big Retailers : Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/15/891398121/walmart-will-require-shoppers-to-wear-masks-other-retailers-urged-to-follow

What is very interesting is notice the statement of the National Retail Foundation
"Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right," the retail trade group NRF said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sounds like a double whammy
Corporate Totalatarinisim
Medical Totalitarian Iron Fist

Eric Newhill

Lesly,
More germane to Col. Lang's post, the fraud that I know was occurring in Florida (because I helped identify it with a brand new big data pattern identifying analytics tool my team built) was that a gang of doctors and pharmacists were writing and filling, respectively, scripts for narcotics - and I mean, literally tons of pills - and making money off that. Then the same gang opened drug rehab centers all over the state, but especially near the gang controlled pharmacies; in one case I know of, on the same city block as the pharmacy. Then the gang assisted the junkies in signing up for the ACA, junkies declaring no income in the process, such that they enjoyed a 100% govt subsidy for their premium. Then the junkies were "admitted" to the rehab centers (I don't recall how much an admission cost, but I think it was something like $900 - $1,200/day). The junkies used the rehab center as a flop house with three hots + the cots. Meanwhile the junkies were still receiving scripts for narcotics; as were a heck of a lot of non-rehab admit junkies. people were coming from out of state to get scripts written and filled. I'm not talking about a few cases. No. Thousands upon thousands of individuals and admissions and millions of scripts.

We reported as did some other insurance companies competing with us in the same markets. The FBI busted some of the gang, but not all. They went low key for a while and then ramped up again.

I would not be surprised if a similar gang was working an angle with the covid tests and subsequent treatments. I don't know anything about that, just it wouldn't surprise me. I can imagine a few scenarios were a profitable scam would be very feasible. It may not be a case of bad math or merely faulty tests.

Eric Newhill

And your point, Lesly, the CDC should not be doing any of this analysis. They are terrible at it. They hire public health people and not professional, skilled, experienced well paid analysts like the insurance companies. The insurance companies know what they are doing and are incentivized to get it right. We have vastly larger investments in analytical tech. We have vastly more and better data available to us and we have close working relationships with doctors and hospitals. Just one source of detailed data is medical claims. The CDC doesn't even have those. They can't see data as rudimentary as procedures and primary, secondary, third, fourth, etc. diagnoses. Another is member (patient) demographics, but also a lot more that I don't want to get into.

Using the Florida fraud as an example, we see cost spiking in Florida and we already have reports operational telling us the source of costs (pills and rehab center admissions). We know the NPIs (the national provider identifiers) of the doctors, pharmacies and rehab centers. We have the medical history of the members (patients) receiving the care. We know who they are, age and some other attributes. We have applications that highlight relationships between all of that (networks and their statistical strength).

Same with CV-19 diagnoses, admissions, deaths and everything else.

We can send market reps out to talk to the local doctors and hospital admin.s to add color to what our analysis is telling us. The CDC has none of that. They are at a basic data assembly level and not even good at that.

The govt should stay out of this line of work. It should be performed by private industry (as should much else that the govt tries to do)

doug

I am not familiar with Fla. but Cal. has very detailed info on cases and deaths. Cases has been rising sharply but not as much as Fla. Deaths are trending up too but far less than the case rise. But there is a clear reason why. Cal. also tracks and publishes cases by age groups. The earlier part of SARS-Covid-19 was pretty evenly distributed in all the age groups except for those under 20 y/o. In the last month or so the sharp rise has been in people between 20 and 49. The fatality rate in that group is a tiny fraction of that in people over 70. Like almost 100 to 1 less. There is a small increase in people over 65 in the case load but quite small compared to that in younger people which happened when the bars opened up. Looks like older people are being much more careful than the younger ones. The much smaller increase in death rates is quite consistent with this shift in the age groupings of the newly infected.

Daniel McAdams

Covid-gate is the new Russia-gate. Biden MUST win Texas (if you believe the polls he's ahead) and the RNC convention MUST be cancelled in Florida. That is why they are madly cooking the Covid books. They don't care how many die, just as they didn't care how many would die in a nuclear war with Russia over their utter bullshit. They are playing for keeps. Soros just announced a quarter of a billion contribution to BLM. You think he's done it from the goodness of his heart? We are in the middle of a color revolution and ninety percent of Americans are too brainwashed to know it.

Harry

The death and hospitalization rate are not the only numbers. One of my colleagues' has been limited in his work for some time because of the need to care for his (presumably covid) suffering wife. She was struck down with a mystery bug in February (Innsbruck) and has been pretty much bedridden since. She is in her late 40s, and was otherwise in the sort of excellent health an Austrian off piste skier enjoys. It is clear her heart has been badly affected.

FWLIW

Fred

Harry,

The wife of a friend of mine was struck down too, less than a month ago. She was identified positive by a test required by her employer. The 'struck down' consisted of a mild fever and soreness followed by an additional 14 days of boredom as she was required to stay home in Orlando. She's 52. Her husband was with her the entire time and has tested negative 3 times. None of the group of mutual friends who where at events with either in the last 6 weeks have come down with any symptoms nor tested positive at any time during this whole hyperflu season.

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