Tag Archives: Incentives

Medicare payouts for COVID-19 patients

As you’ll see by end of this article, the specific decisions about money mentioned here affect life and death outcomes for patients.

by Jon Rappoport

April 12, 2020

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A state senator has suddenly come out of nowhere and made big news.

My conversation with Minnesota State Senator, Dr. Scott Jensen, took place after I read the explosive statement he made to FOX News, on April 9th. So let’s start with his earlier FOX statement [1]:

“Right now Medicare has determined that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you’ll get paid $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator, you get $39,000; three times as much. Nobody can tell me, after 35 years in the world of medicine, that sometimes those kinds of things [don’t] [have] impact on what we do…”

I reached out to Senator Jensen, and obtained clarification. Jensen told me his remark pertained to patients with Medicare coverage. And the 2 payouts he mentioned are standard insurance payments from Medicare which would go to the hospital.

Of course, he explained, some hospitals have a pay-share plan with their staff doctors. Therefore, a windfall for the hospital is passed along to those doctors.

Jensen told me: Take a Medicare patient who is diagnosed with simple non-COVID pneumonia. The hospital would receive a one-time Medicare lump-sum payout of $4600.

However, if that Medicare patient is diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia, the Medicare coverage is a one-time $13,000 payment. And if the hospital puts that COVID-19 pneumonia patient on a ventilator, the one-time payment is $39,000. NOTE: It doesn’t matter how long these patients stay in hospital—there is only going to be one lump-sum insurance payment.

So, I infer, there are several types of financial incentives for hospitals—

ONE: Diagnose as many people as possible with COVID-19.

TWO: Diagnose as many people as possible with COVID-19 who have light symptoms—making it easy to move them out of the hospital quickly.

THREE: Put as many COVID patients as possible on ventilators for as short a time as possible.

Under the heading of “diagnose as many patients as possible with COVID-19,” there is also the key question of what constitutes “a COVID-19 patient”—and how the use of that label can be multiplied and manipulated…

My conversation with State Senator and doctor who exposes Medicare payouts for COVID-19 patients