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COVID-19: A third of Medicare enrollees with coronavirus ended up in the hospital. A quarter of them died.


(Source: CNN)

(CNN) – One-third of Medicare recipients diagnosed with Covid had to be hospitalized, and more than a quarter of that group died, according to federal data released Monday.

The report, based on Medicare claims filed between January and mid-May, found that more than 325,000 beneficiaries were diagnosed with coronavirus and nearly 110,000 of them were hospitalized.
And 28% of those who were hospitalized died, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Almost the same share went home.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have cost Medicare $1.9 billion in its fee-for-service program, which pays providers for services rendered, or about $23,100 per patient, on average.
The data, which is preliminary and will change as more claims are processed, provides a look into who proved vulnerable to coronavirus. It confirmed that the elderly, those with chronic conditions, lower-income people and Black and Hispanic Americans have been more affected by the pandemic.

“The data also confirms long-understood and stubbornly persistent disparities in health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities,” said Seema Verma, the agency’s administrator.

Overall, there were nearly 525 cases per 100,000 Medicaid enrollees. But there were more than 1,100 cases per 100,000 Black enrollees, and nearly 700 diagnoses per 100,000 Hispanic recipients. The rate for Asian recipients was 450 and for Whites was 425 per 100,000. Those ages 85 and older had a rate of nearly 1,150 diagnoses per 100,000 enrollees, compared to roughly 350 per 100,000 among people aged 65 to 74 and 550 cases per 100,000 for people 75 to 84.

Among poorer Medicare recipients who are also eligible for Medicaid, the rate was more than 1,400 cases per 100,000 members, compared to 325 diagnoses per 100,000 recipients for those only on Medicare.
And those who qualify for Medicare because they have end-stage kidney disease, who often have to leave home for dialysis, were more than five times more likely to have been diagnosed than the elderly and disabled in the program.

Similar splits were found among Medicare beneficiaries who had to be hospitalized. Overall, the rate was 175 instances among 100,000 recipients.
But the rates for Black and Hispanic enrollees were nearly 475 and more than 250 hospitalizations per 100,000 recipients, respectively. Among White and Asian beneficiaries, the rates were about 125 and nearly 200 instances per 100,000 recipients, respectively.

Among those hospitalized, the most common chronic conditions were high blood pressure, high cholesterol and chronic kidney disease. Only 9% had asthma.
Half of those hospitalized spent up to seven days there, while 9% stayed three weeks or more.

Read story at CNN

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