Medicare death rates jump in nursing homes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A federal report released Tuesday indicates that 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes were diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020 or were assumed to have COVID-19 but were never formally tested.
Released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the analysis also showed that about half of Black, Hispanic and Asian Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes had COVID-19, compared to 41 percent of white beneficiaries in the facilities.
In overall death rates --- not just deaths caused by COVID-19 --- the report showed that 22.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes died in 2020, compared to 17 percent in 2019.
That translated to an additional 169,291 people who died. And while mortality rates increased for Black, Hispanic Asian, and white beneficiaries, the death rates increased most among Asian beneficiaries.
Twenty-seven percent of Asian Medicare beneficiaries died in nursing homes in 2020, compared to 17 percent in 2019. By comparison, 23 percent of Black and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries died in nursing homes in 2020, compared to 15 percent in 2019.
The number of white Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes who died was 24 percent in 2020, up from 18 percent in 2019.
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