Do Doctors Get $2,000 From Reporting Covid-19 Deaths?
Donald Trump recently made a claim in a campaign rally that doctors “get more money if somebody dies from COVID”. Trump stated that the US and Europe had different methods for counting COVID-19 mortality rates, and that in the US doctors would be paid $2,000 more for reporting any causes of deaths as COVID and this is the reason why COVID-19 cases are surging recently. The claims are made between 00:54:47 and 00:55:25 in the linked transcript.
We have previously debunked a similar post that originated from the UK. The post claimed that doctors would receive £75 for signing death certificates and £120 for putting COVID-19 as cause of death.
However, Trump’s claims regarding death certificates are false. A Medscape article written by Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, states that doctors are not calling random deaths as COVID deaths. Jha writes that this would constitute fraud and that there are legal sanctions for falsifying death certificates.
Jha also disproved the claim that the doctors receive $2,000 for each COVID-19 report. In a twitter thread, Dr. Jha explains that hospitals may get a slight bump in funding from the Cares Act if a patient is documented as COVID-positive. However, he states most doctors would not misdiagnose a patient as such. Doing so would get them fined or even jailed.
Fact-checking website PolitiFact.com investigated the claim and stated that there is no evidence for the claim and that doctors do not have any financial incentive to falsify death certificates. The President of the American Medical Association, Dr. Susan R. Bailey, also made a statement denouncing the insinuation that doctors are profiteering over patient deaths. Hence, the claim made by Trump that doctors are paid for false COVID-19 diagnoses is debunked.