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Median Commercial Charge for COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hits $45,000

August 6, 2020

According to a national not-for-profit healthcare analytics firm, FAIR Health, the median in-network commercial charge (not the amount paid) for COVID-19 hospitalizations has ranged from $34,662 for the 23-to-30 age group to $45,683 for 51-to-60-year-olds. Their data is based on a recent review of commercially available claims data from January to May of this year. Other findings from the recent FAIR analysis include:

  • Patients in their older data group were most commonly hospitalized for COVID-19, accounting for nearly 30% of related hospitalizations.
  • The age distribution may be in flux, researchers said, pointing to recent reports indicating that the average age of new COVID-19 cases dropped by about 15 years.
  • The total “charges” to treat COVID-19 in hospitals are projected to range from at least $362 billion to as high as $1.45 trillion.
  • The analysis revealed that males were associated with a larger share
    (54%) of commercial claims.
  • The physician’s office setting was the most common venue for initial diagnoses, except for patients age 61 and older, who were most commonly diagnosed in an inpatient setting.

The study mirrored Medicare claims data showing that chronic kidney disease and kidney failure were the most common comorbidities of the hospitalized COVID-19 patient with similar cost characteristics.

Thus far, many employers have seen a sharp decline in overall claim costs for much of March to the present day, although some plans are seeing costs begin to come back on line as elective care begins to resume. While there may be short-term reductions, care is ultimately expected to come back to traditional levels.

Conner Strong & Buckelew continues to monitor trends and data related to the impact of COVID-19 so we can help employers and plan sponsors budget appropriately.

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