Topics
More on Reimbursement

Hospitalized care for COVID-19 averages $34,662 to $45,683, varying by age

Nationally, people aged 51 to 60 were charged the most, according to the FAIR Health study.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Nationally, the median charge amount – the amount for people without insurance or who went out-of-network – for COVID-19 inpatient care was $45,683 for people aged 51 to 60 and $34,662 for those in the 23 to 30 age bracket, according to a new study. 

The highest average allowed amount paid to the provider under an insurance plan was $24,012 for people aged 51 to 60 and, at its lowest, $17,094 for people above age 70. 

The study, by FAIR Health, examined private insurance claims associated with COVID-19 diagnoses from the beginning of the year through mid-May. It
also analyzed data related to location of care and patient comorbidities. 

HIMSS20 Digital

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

The average cost of a hospital stay for COVID-19 treatment can greatly vary depending on age, according to the findings.  

Most people got their COVID-19 diagnosis from a traditional doctor's office, according to the study. A third of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 found out this way. 

Only 6.1% of people were diagnosed with the virus using telehealth services. 

Chronic kidney disease or kidney failure was found to be the most common comorbidity with 13% of hospitalized patients. The other top diseases were Type 2 diabetes and hypertension with 10% and 7%, respectively. 

THE LARGER TREND

Earlier this year, FAIR Health released cost projections of COVID-19 inpatient stays. The charges for someone without insurance or who received out-of-network care was estimated to be over $73,000. 

If patients had insurance or were covered under Medicare or Medicaid, the price estimates reduced significantly. 

For commercially insured patients, it was estimated that their inpatient services would cost about $38,000. For Medicare and Medicaid patients, the cost was reduced to about $10,000 and $7,000, respectively.

The total COVID-19 treatment cost for payers could be as high as $546.6 billion, according to an America's Health Insurance Plans study. 

Despite these estimates and findings, experts are still uncertain about the impact that the pandemic will have, especially on the healthcare industry.

ON THE RECORD

"Profiles of COVID-19 patients have many potential applications, including determining risk factors, influencing treatment protocols, setting priorities for eventual vaccination distribution, inspiring further research, and planning and budgeting for use of healthcare resources. FAIR Health presents this report to help support that broad range of applications by stakeholders throughout the healthcare sector," FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd said. 

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org