Patient Safety | 06.16.21
Average COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found Medicare spent nearly $22,000 for each patient aged 65 and older hospitalized with COVID-19 between April and December 2020, on average. The CDC study in also found that for certain patients, including those so ill they required a ventilator, the average cost approached $50,000. The researchers analyzed records for more than 28 million "traditional" Medicare program beneficiaries, of whom 4 percent received medical care for COVID-19, with 23 percent of them hospitalized. People who recovered at home saw modest costs of $164 per outpatient visit, meaning COVID-19 hospitalizations and doctor visits had an unusually small impact on traditional Medicare. However, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American Medicare patients were more likely to be hospitalized, need a ventilator, or die of COVID-19 than white patients. "This confirms, as if that were necessary, that people of color have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic," said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal.