Health Care Data Reporting Beyond the Public Health Emergency: Payment Policies to Support Public Health Surveillance and Population Health

Data Reporting Cover

White Paper

Health Care Data Reporting Beyond the Public Health Emergency: Payment Policies to Support Public Health Surveillance and Population Health

Published date

June 17, 2022

While SARS-CoV-2 variants continue to evolve with the potential for additional surges in cases, the availability of vaccines and boosters along with rapid testing and effective treatment enables a shift from the current COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) to sustainable COVID-19 containment. To support and sustain recovery, timely data are needed by health care organizations, including hospitals and health centers, long-term care facilities (LTCFs), and payers, as well as federal, state, and local public health departments to detect and rapidly respond to surges in cases from new variants or declining immunity. The ability of health care and public health organizations to seamlessly share COVID-19 surveillance and case data is critical to preventing serious health impacts, particularly among Medicare beneficiaries and people experiencing high risk of severe COVID-19 illness, as well as for avoiding future economic disruptions. Moreover, similar data may also be needed for responding to seasonal outbreaks as well as future epidemics and pandemics. While such data could be very helpful for health care and public health planning and for preventing adverse outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and other Americans, any such data collection requirements must also minimize administrative burden and assure transparency in how the data would be used effectively.

In May-June 2022, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy hosted two virtual roundtables including private payers, health systems, public health experts, federal officials, and state representatives, to discuss key issues and multi-stakeholder solutions to provide more timely, reliable, and efficient data for COVID-19 and future infectious disease threats. Stakeholders discussed challenges and needs associated with COVID-19 and public health reporting as well as opportunities for improved data sharing for public health surveillance. This issue brief reflects insights from these discussions as well as our assessment of challenges and opportunities for improved public health reporting and health care response.


Mark McClellan

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD

Director of the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy
Robert J. Margolis, MD, Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy
Margolis Executive Core Faculty

Katie Huber

Katie Huber, MPH

Senior Policy Analyst


Christina Silcox, PhD

Research Director, Digital Health
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Senior Team Member
Margolis Core Faculty

Morgan Romine headshot

Morgan Romine, MPA

Chief of Staff
Senior Team Member