I was going to add pretty much what you said, know you good enough to know it wouldn't get past you. Yeah it doesn't prove evidence, but the potential still there.Thanks much for the link Beer. I found a few things interesting:
"Provision in the relief act
The coronavirus relief legislation created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients.
There have been no public reports that hospitals are exaggerating COVID-19 numbers to receive higher Medicare payments.
Jensen didn't explicitly make that claim. He simply suggested there is an "avenue" to do so now that "plausible" COVID-19, not just laboratory-confirmed, cases can be greenlighted for Medicare payment and eligible for the 20% add-on allowed under the relief act."
"Ask FactCheck reporter Angelo Fichera, who interviewed Jensen, noted, "Jensen said he did not think that hospitals were intentionally misclassifying cases for financial reasons. But that’s how his comments have been widely interpreted and paraded on social media."
Ask FactCheck's conclusion: "Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment, but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting."
Julie Aultman, a member of the editorial board of the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, told PolitiFact it is “very unlikely that physicians or hospitals will falsify data or be motivated by money to do so.”
Very unlikely doesn't mean no one is doing it though. There are a bazillion instances throughout history of people doing questionable (to be kind) things to snag money they aren't entitled to.
It does make sense to me that Medicare would be paying more for people on ventilators, they are expensive. I presume they pay more if someone needed a ventilator pre Covid as well.
Actually thinking back on it if they did, I wouldn't blame them. Hospitals for a long time had the ban hammer on them , banned from performing elective surgeries, surgeries they make $ on and pay the bills keep the lights on.
When our Govt is printing and blowing cash all over if hospitals that were struggling cause of Govt mandates and of course covid took advantage of it, don't blame them if they did.