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Preliminary Medicare COVID-19 Data Snapshot Highlighs Racial Disparities and Differences Between Urban and Rural Areas

More than 325,000 Medicare beneficiaries have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from Jan. 1 to May 16 and about a third of them were hospitalized, according to data CMS released Monday night, writes Healthcare Dive. The numbers from CMS show stark racial disparities as well as major differences between urban and rural areas. The data shows that Black beneficiaries were hospitalized at a rate four times higher than white patients. People dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid were also about four times more likely to be hospitalized than those with just Medicare coverage. Urban areas had about 205 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries while rural areas had 57 per 100,000. According to the data, Medicare fee-for-service payments for COVID-19 hospitalizations totaled $1.9 billion over that time period, with an average payment of $23,094.

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