COVID-19 hospitalizations highest among Black, chronically ill Medicare patients

CMS released its first monthly update of COVID-19 data on Medicare patients July 28, which found Black and dual-eligible members, who often have chronic illnesses, were much more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19. 

Four key data points to know: 

1. At 670 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries, Black Medicare patients with COVID-19 are being hospitalized at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups. American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries have the second highest hospitalization rate.

2. Patients who have dual Medicare and Medicaid coverage, who often have multiple chronic conditions, were hospitalized at a rate more than 4.5 times higher than beneficiaries who just had Medicare. 

3. Medicare patients with end-stage renal disease continue to be hospitalized at higher rates than other beneficiaries. Their hospitalization rate is 1,911 per 100,000 beneficiaries. 

4. CMS has paid $2.8 billion in Medicare fee-for-service claims for COVID-19-related hospitalizations. That averages to about $25,255 a Medicare patient.

Read more here.

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