News: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients cost 45 times more than outpatient patients
COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized cost significantly more than those treated in an outpatient setting, according to data from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).
The association analyzed 90,000 COVID-19 cases from a geographically diverse population of its insured membership. The analysis found that outpatient COVID-19 cases cost between $500 and $1,000 per patient. Costs, however, were 45 times higher for patients who required hospitalization, and an additional 2.5 times higher than hospitalized patients for those who required a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). This means that the average cost for hospitalized COVID-19 patients was $22,500-$45,000, while the average cost for an ICU COVID-19 patient was $56,250-$112,500.
The BCBSA analysis also evaluated COVID-19 cases with high-risk conditions and found that those patients with high-risk conditions were three times more likely to end up in a hospital ICU, with an average per admission cost 30% higher than for patients without high-risk conditions. The high-risk condition members were four times more likely to be hospitalized than those without high-risk conditions, and twice as likely to be hospitalized in the ICU.
Researchers note that while most COVID-19 patients don’t need to be hospitalized, “the data reinforces the importance of staying vigilant about COVID-19 protections and the benefits of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Editor’s note: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association analysis can be found here. To read more of ACDIS’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and about its impact on CDI professionals and organizations, click here.