A Fair Health study found that median charge amounts for COVID-19 hospital care ranged from $34,662 for the 23 to 30 age group to $45,683 for patients ages 51 to 60, while median estimated allowed amounts ranged from $17,094 for patients over 70 to $24,012 for those ages 51 to 60. The findings, based on claims from January through mid-May, showed hospitalization costs varied most widely in the West, from $21,407 for patients ages 19 to 22 to $93,459 for people older than 70.
The US marked another record spike in COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, logging 67,417 new infections, with California, Texas and Florida accounting for almost half of the new cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The surge in new cases, particularly in hot-spot areas in the South and West, is straining the country's testing infrastructure and slowing turnaround times for results.
Public health experts, state leaders and hospital officials warn that new federal rules for reporting COVID-19 patient information could add to burdens on health systems that are already under pressure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new protocol, which took effect Wednesday, was announced with little notice, and critics fear the change could deprive hospitals, states and others of information for local monitoring of the disease's spread.
An analysis of 24 studies from around the world showed the overall death rate of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units declined to 42% by the end of May from nearly 60% at the end of March. The findings, published in Anaesthesia, "may reflect the rapid learning that has taken place on a global scale" of how to treat the disease, researchers said.
A scientific statement from the American Heart Association outlined how homelessness, poor quality housing and neighborhood environment can affect cardiovascular health, noting that adults who are homeless may have up to 70% higher rates of cardiovascular events, compared with the general population. The report, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, said contributing factors may include a lack of risk factor diagnosis, barriers to care, medication compliance issues and poor access to healthful foods.
Financial advisors are in a good position to make a "rapid rebound" once the coronavirus pandemic subsides, writes Jeff Bradford, president of The Dalton-Bradford Group. He offers three ways to do that: heed your competition, adapt to client needs, and use new messaging that lines up with the new normal.
Initial unemployment benefit claims were 1.3 million for the week ending July 11, according to the Department of Labor. The number was higher than economists expected and suggests the country continues to struggle with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Since employees rely on employers to provide important health information, they should also trust them to provide financial wellness information and tools during turbulent times, writes Cindy Dash at Matrix Financial Solutions. Employers should be communicating with workers about available resources and experts now and plan to launch new long-term financial wellness plans soon, Dash says.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp released a revised waiver proposal for the state's Affordable Care Act marketplace, backing off initial plans to offer subsidies for less-expensive and less-robust health plans and to have the state control federal marketplace subsidies, which total about $2.7 billion. The proposal also delays a reinsurance plan for new state subsidies until 2022.
The annual drug-related death rate in the US declined in 2018 after rising for the previous 25 years, according to the CDC, but the rate hit a record high last year, and experts expect even more deaths this year. New prescribing and insurance coverage policies brought down the death rate from prescription opioid misuse, but the decline has been overtaken by rising deaths from illicit drug use.
- Page 1