CMS released findings from a preliminary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes. Nursing home residents account for only 2% of the Medicare population, yet they have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 when compared to community residents.
The analysis evaluated Medicare beneficiaries with a COVID-19 diagnosis or hospitalization by institutional setting (i.e., nursing home versus community), as well as other demographic characteristics, chronic conditions, and mortality (for hospitalized beneficiaries) during a 10-month study period between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
Key findings from this analysis include increased risk of (a) COVID-19 diagnosis, (b) hospitalization for COVID-19, and (c) 30-day mortality following a COVID-19 hospitalization for Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes compared to beneficiaries in the community. Select co-morbidities were also associated with adverse outcomes related to COVID-19; however, co-morbidities did not fully explain the increased risks to beneficiaries residing in a nursing home.