September Death Reconciliations in Kansas

Now that September is over, we can see the effect of KDHE’s death reconciliation process. In total, 231 deaths were added to the records in the month of September, representing more than 1/3 of all deaths since reporting began. The earliest date of death recorded in the reconciliation was the week of May 10.

In the graph above, the values in yellow indicate which deaths were added in the month of September and when they were added. For example, you can see here that in September one death was added the week of May 10 and 5 were added the week of July 12.

To date the peak of deaths was the week of August 23 with 51 reported that week. Since then, the number of deaths by date have declined – though we may see more added when new adjustments are made. You can see more details in our complete analysis here: COVID Death Date Analysis.

KDHE explains their process for counting and reporting deaths this way:

KDHE has two processes for verifying COVID-19 related deaths. Notifications of deaths in COVID-19 patients may be reported directly to KDHE by local health departments or providers and are marked in our disease surveillance system. When the death certificate is received by the KDHE Office of Vital Statistics, we verify the cause of death and date of death in our our surveillance system. In the second process, we regularly review COVID-19 deaths in the death registration system and update any COVID-19 deaths missing in the surveillance system. In both processes, the death certificate data is the final source of data. Therefore, the number of deaths reported here by date of death may not match the total number of deaths reported if the date of death has not been verified yet from the death certificate.

2 thoughts on “September Death Reconciliations in Kansas

  1. Kimberly Borchers

    Do we know if the numbers have also been changed from death “from” Covid vs death “with” Covid?

    1. Joy Eakins Post author

      According to the KDHE Death Summary tab of its statistical reports “A COVID-19 death is defined as a person with COVID-19 and a death certificate that lists COVID-19 or SARS-Co-V-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to the death.” Additional clarity by KDHE sharing more details about this data would be helpful.

      The CDC further complicates the question by reporting that the deaths listed by state for their website include “Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD-10 Code UO7.1. We continue to study the reporting and request additional details on the information provided.

      Normally, cause of death data can take as much as 2 years to be released. For example, the latest data available on the CDC site for leading causes of death is dated 2017. This lag in data reporting has made it difficult for statisticians to study what is happening versus historical trends in the data.

      Thank you for your question.


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