News: Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost $13.8 billion over six months

CDI Strategies - Volume 16, Issue 1

According to a report by the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker, COVID-19 hospitalization costs for unvaccinated adults between June 2021 and November 2021 cost $13.8 billion. The report crossed data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on hospitalizations for those vaccinated against COVID-19 to assess how many of the hospitalizations were for unvaccinated adults.

“Although the number of vaccinated people hospitalized for COVID-19 increased in August, the number of unvaccinated people hospitalized for COVID-19 also increased, meaning that unvaccinated people still represent a similar share of total hospitalizations,” the report says. It was determined that roughly 690,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations occurred for unvaccinated individuals over the six-month period.

Report authors used data from various previous reports to determine the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization to cost $20,000, meaning the total cost for the 690,000 unvaccinated hospitalized individuals totaled nearly $13.8 billion. The report notes that the costs reflected the surge in the Delta variant, with a high of $4 billion in August 2021 and a low of $0.7 billion in June 2021. Cost estimates excluded the cost of outpatient care and only included inpatient hospitalizations.

Editor’s note: The Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker report can be found here. Additional ACDIS coverage of COVID-19 can be found here.  

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