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Studies Question Death Certificate Accuracy

An article in The New York Times discusses a pair of recent studies showing that many doctors misreport their patients’ cause of death. One of the studies found “that heart disease is overreported as a cause of death, while diseases like pneumonia and cancer tend to be underreported.” The other study “suggests that the health system is far too cavalier about the accuracy of death certificates.” Researchers conducted both studies at New York teaching hospitals, and the latter found that “of 521 respondents, 54 percent said they had knowingly reported what they believed was an inaccurate cause of death. Only one-third of the respondents believed that the system accurately documents the cause of death.”

Read it in The New York Times.