Hospitalization rates for COVID-19 were nearly four times higher for black, and two times higher for Hispanic, Medicare beneficiaries than for white Medicare beneficiaries, according to data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The analysis also showed that hospitalization rates were over three times higher for urban than rural Medicare beneficiaries, and that those who have end-stage renal disease or are dually eligible for Medicaid had the highest hospitalization rates. The findings reflect Medicare claims data from Jan. 1 through May 16.

CMS intends to provide a monthly snapshot of COVID-19 case and hospitalization data for Medicare beneficiaries broken down by race/ethnicity, dual-eligible status, age, gender and rural/urban geography.

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