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FAIR Health Study Finds COVID-19 Hospital Charges Varied Widely by Age

Nationally and in every US census region, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure were the most common comorbidity in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, accounting for 13 percent of all such patients in the period January-May 2020. All regions except one resembled the nation in having type 2 diabetes as the second most common comorbidity; the exception, the South, had hypertension in that rank. These are among the findings of FAIR Health’s fourth COVID-19 study, Key Characteristics of COVID-19 Patients: Profiles Based on Analysis of Private Healthcare Claims.

This study used the nation’s largest repository of private healthcare claims to illuminate some of the key characteristics of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. These characteristics included age, gender, rural versus urban area by age, venue of care where first diagnosed, venue of care by age, comorbidities of hospitalized patients and median costs of hospitalization. The patient characteristics were analyzed nationally and also by US census region. The data studied are from the period January-May 2020.

Among the other findings:

  • Nationally, the median charge amount for hospitalization of a COVID-19 patient ranged from $34,662 for the 23-30 age group to $45,683 for the 51-60 age group. The median estimated in-network amounts ranged from $17,094 for people over 70 years of age to $24,012 for people aged 51-60 years.
  • The West was the region with the widest range of costs for COVID-19 hospitalizations. There, median charge amounts ranged from $21,407 for the 19-22 age group to $93,459 for the over 70 age group. Median estimated in-network amounts ranged from $15,289 for the 19-22 age group to $60,205 for the over 70 age group.

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