Medicare Data: People with ESRD Most Likely to be Hospitalized with COVID-19

A Medicare claims analysis found that from January 1 to May 16, 2020, more than 325,000 people with Medicare were diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly 110,000 were hospitalized. People with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) had a hospitalization rate of 1,341 per 100,000, or nearly three times higher than the rates for low-income beneficiaries and blacks. Black people with Medicare were hospitalized at a rate of 465 per 100,000 enrollees, or nearly four times the rate for whites, which was 123 per 100,000 enrollees. Dual-eligible Medicare recipients had a hospitalization rate that was slightly higher than the rate for blacks. There were fewer COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among Medicare recipients in rural areas compared to cities and suburbs. Medicare spent $1.9 billion for hospital care during this five-month period, an average of about $23,000 per case for people enrolled in the fee-for-service program.

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