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You are watching: Do doctors get paid more for covid

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Patients wait for a COVID-19 test at Brooklyn Hospital center in new York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


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It’s conventional for Medicare to pay a hospital around three time as lot for a patient who goes ~ above a ventilator, together for one who doesn’t.

Medicare is payment a 20% add-on come its continual hospital payments for the treatment of COVID-19 victims. That’s a an outcome of a commonwealth stimulus law.

The claim’s ide is the the number of COVID-19 instances is gift padded; yet evidence shows the situations are gift undercounted.


An article shared ~ above Facebook questions whether the count of COVID-19 patient is inflated, saying hospitals have actually a financial inspiration to claim that a patient has actually the virus.

"Hospitals gain paid an ext to perform patients together COVID-19 — 3 time as much if placed on ventilator," the story’s headline states.

The article was posted on WorldNetDaily, a conservative news website. The was developed by The Spectator, which explains itself together a conservative publication. The Spectator report on comment made by Dr. Scott Jensen, a Minnesota physician and Republican state senator, in one interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

The short article was flagged as component of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and also misinformation ~ above its News Feed. (Read more about ours partnership v Facebook.)

Jensen claimed on Fox News that medical professionals are being motivated to cite COVID-19 as a cause of fatality on fatality certificates and also he suggested that money is a motivation.

Medicare has figured out that a hospital it s okay paid $13,000 if a COVID-19 patience on Medicare is admitted and $39,000 if the patient goes ~ above a ventilator, the claimed.

Jensen did not respond to our request for information.

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The federal federal government has made decision to salary hospitals an ext for treating COVID-19 patients. Yet it isn’t a windfall in the way the title suggests. And there is no indication that hospitals room over-identifying patient as having actually COVID-19. If anything, evidence argues the disease is being underdiagnosed. 


How Medicare pays hospitals

Medicare pays because that inpatient hospital remains using a diagnosis-related team (DRG) payment system. The hospital assigns a code to a patience at the time of discharge, based greatly on the patient’s main diagnosis and treatment given. 

Medicare then pays the hospital a prescribed quantity of money — nevertheless of what it actually price the hospital to provide the care. The amount deserve to vary in various parts of the country to account for job costs and other factors.


The amounts 

The dollar quantities Jensen cited are approximately what we uncovered in an analysis published April 7 by the Kaiser household Foundation, a leading resource of health and wellness information. (Kaiser health and wellness News, i m sorry partners v gendergeek.org on wellness fact-checking, is an editorially independent regime of the foundation.)

There isn’t a Medicare diagnostic code specifically for COVID-19. Utilizing payment prices for comparable respiratory conditions, Kaiser estimated the typical Medicare payment in ~ $13,297 because that a less severe hospitalization and also $40,218 for hospitalization in i beg your pardon a patient is treated through a ventilator for at the very least 96 hours.