The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its first monthly update to its report detailing the impact of COVID-19 on Medicare beneficiaries. The report draws from COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations of Medicare beneficiaries between Jan. 1 and June 20, 2020, and is based on Medicare claims and encounter data reported to CMS.
Most notably, the data reveals that Native Americans are the second most disproportionately affected group after Black Americans. CMS reiterates that the data confirms COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations – and in particular on racial and ethnic minorities – attributing this in part to the higher rates of chronic conditions among these populations, as well as the social determinants of health.
CMS highlighted additional findings from this first monthly update, including:
- Black beneficiaries showed hospitalization rates of 670 per 100,000 beneficiaries, the highest among all racial groups in Medicare;
- Beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid were hospitalized at a rate 4.5 times higher than those only enrolled in Medicare;
- Beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) were hospitalized at a rate of 1,911 per 100,000 beneficiaries; and
- The cost of treatment for COVID-related hospitalizations averaged to $25,255 per beneficiaries (CMS paid a total of $2.8 billion in Medicare fee-for-service claims for COVID-19 care).