Hospitals Get Paid More For Coronavirus-Coded Patients

Hospitals get paid more money if a patient is coded for the novel coronavirus, even if they haven’t been tested in some states, multiple fact-checking sites have confirmed, including USA Today, Politifact, and Snopes. Hospitals get a 20% add-on for COVID-19-coded patients and roughly three times as much if such patients are placed on a ventilator.

In the beginning of April, physician and State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-MN) notified the public of the policy and later emphasized on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that “anytime health care intersects with dollars, it gets awkward.”

“Right now Medicare has determined that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you’ll get paid $13,000,” Jensen said on the Fox program. “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 [have] impact on what we do.”

“Some physicians really have a bent towards public health and they will put down influenza or whatever because that’s their preference,” he continued. “I try to stay very specific, very precise. If I know I’ve got pneumonia, that’s what’s going on the death certificate. I’m not going to add stuff just because it’s convenient.”

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