Medicare has spent $1.9B on COVID-19 hospitalizations

Through mid-May, total Medicare payment for fee-for-service COVID-19 hospitalizations is $1.9 billion, according to new data from CMS.  

Medicare tracked 81,227 COVID-19 hospitalizations in its preliminary data snapshot. The snapshot analyzes Medicare claims and encounter data received by June 11 for services rendered from the start of the year to May 16. On average, Medicare payment for each fee-for-service COVID-19 hospitalization has been $23,094 to $63,721.

The agency noted the data in its snapshot is preliminary and will change as CMS processes claims and encounters.

It's difficult to predict how much Medicare will spend on COVID-19 hospitalizations for the rest of the year. In a recent analysis, healthcare business consulting firm Avelere pegged Medicare spend anywhere from $3.5 billion to $6.2 billion for fee-for-service COVID-19 hospitalizations in 2020. That analysis found the healthcare system as a whole could pay up to $17 billion for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with commercial insurers paying the largest portion, somewhere between $5.6 billion and $9.9 billion.


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