CMS updates COVID-19 data

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – CMS paid $2.8 billion in Medicare fee-for-service claims for COVID-related hospitalizations, or an average of $25,255 per beneficiary, according to new data released by the agency. 

“The updated data confirm that the COVID-19 public health emergency is disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities,” CMS stated. 

Other key data points: 

  • Beneficiaries eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid – who often suffer from multiple chronic conditions and have low incomes – were hospitalized at a rate more than 5 times higher than beneficiaries with only Medicare. 
  • Beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease continue to be hospitalized at higher rates than other segments of the Medicare population, with 1,911 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries, compared with 241 per 100,000 for aged and 226 per 100,000 for disabled. 
  • Black beneficiaries continue to be hospitalized at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups, with 670 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries. 


The data cover the period from Jan. 1 to June 20, 2020, based on Medicare claims and encounters that CMS received by July 17, 2020. 

For the first time, the data also include American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that these beneficiaries have the second highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among racial/ethnic groups after Blacks.