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COVID-19-related look after Medicare beneficiaries price $6.3B in 2020

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By Staff , in Medicare , at June 2, 2021


Tsai and colleagues report no related monetary disclosures.

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The prices of COVID-19-related care that was offered to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries between April 2020 and December 2020 totaled $6.3 billion, in response to researchers.

“Therapy after COVID-19 analysis is just not free; cost is shared by sufferers, insurance coverage payers and well being care suppliers, and the quantity for which every stakeholder is accountable will depend on the affected person’s insurance coverage standing and protection,” Yuping Tsai, PhD, a well being economist on the CDC, and colleagues wrote in Annals of Inside Medication. “Information of the direct medical prices of COVID-19 therapies is proscribed.”

Knowledge derived from: Tsai Y, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2021;doi:10.7326/M21-1102.

Tsai and colleagues performed a retrospective observational examine utilizing medical claims of 1,181,127 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (57% ladies; 79.6% non-Hispanic white; 77.2% resided in an city county) who had a COVID-19-related medical encounter from April 2020 via December 2020.

In response to the researchers, 92.6% of the full $6.3 billion prices of COVID-19-related care had been for hospitalizations. Total, sufferers had a imply hospital keep of 9.2 days and a imply hospitalization price of $21,752. Amongst sufferers who required a ventilator, the imply size of keep was 17.1 days, and the imply hospitalization price was $49,441. Amongst sufferers who died, the imply size of keep was 11.3 days, and the imply hospitalization price was $32,015. Outpatient visits had a imply price of $164.

The researchers additionally wrote that males and sufferers whose race or ethnicity was not white had the next chance of requiring hospital care and better prices. Moreover, sufferers aged 75 years or older had been additionally extra prone to require hospital care however had decrease prices vs. youthful sufferers.

“Because the pandemic continues, it’s essential to constantly promote mitigation behaviors and vaccination amongst older adults to stop an infection and transmission of the virus,” the researchers wrote. “Figuring out efficient methods to advertise vaccine uptake is essential, and efforts are notably wanted amongst non-white individuals aged 65 years or older to mitigate the elevated illness and financial burden of COVID-19.”

In a associated editorial, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, a philanthropic group that’s devoted to impartial analysis on well being and social coverage points, and colleagues famous that the examine didn’t embrace information from sufferers who had Medicare Benefit plans or the price of posthospitalization rehabilitation care among the many examine inhabitants. In addition they famous that claims information “are likely to lag real-world occasions by no less than 3 months.”

“Although restricted as a method of monitoring unfolding emergencies, claims information and their evaluation do serve one essential perform that epidemiologic information don’t: They will present helpful estimates of the monetary advantages of stopping an sickness and the corresponding prices of treating it,” Blumenthal and colleagues wrote. “This data permits calculations of the comparative prices and advantages of various approaches to stopping and treating COVID-19 and the way these investments evaluate in worth with investments in stopping and treating different diseases.”


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