On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population.
For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries have the second highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among racial/ethnic groups after Blacks. Previously, the number of hospitalizations of American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries was too low to be reported.
The updated data confirm that the COVID-19 public health emergency is disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities. This is due, in part, to the higher rates of chronic health conditions in these populations and issues related to the social determinants of health.Black beneficiaries continue to be hospitalized at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups, with 670 hospitalizations per 100,000 beneficiaries.