September 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data show over 773,000 COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and nearly 215,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. [Note: As of early 2020, over 62.3 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare: 60% in Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS), also known as Original Medicare, and 40% in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.]
Other key findings (bolding added by me):
- The rate of COVID-19 cases among Medicare beneficiaries grew 40% since the July release to 1,208 cases per 100,000 beneficiaries.
- Similarly, the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries grew 33% since the July release to 338 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries.
- Weekly counts of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reached the lowest point to date in late June and began to increase in July.
- The rate of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations grew the most among disabled beneficiaries, Hispanic beneficiaries, and Medicare-only beneficiaries (those who are not dually eligible for Medicaid).
- Medicare Fee-for-Service (Original Medicare) spending associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations grew to $3.5 billion or just over $25,000 per hospitalization.
- Data on discharge status and length of stay for COVID-19 hospitalizations remained similar to previously reported figures in the July release. 29% of beneficiaries went home at the end of their hospital stay and 24% died. Nearly half of the hospitalizations lasted 7 days or less while 5% lasted more than 31 days.
For more information on the Medicare COVID-19 data, visit: https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-systems/preliminary-medicare-covid-19-data-snapshot. This is a 12-page document at the bottom of the webpage. It showcases Medicare Claims and Encounter Data: Services January 1 to July 18, 2020, Received by August 14, 2020.
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