In news that began spreading nearly 3 weeks ago now, it has been confirmed that hospitals are indeed getting paid more if they list patients with COVID-19... and up to 3x that amount if the patient is placed on a ventilator.
The news was reported by The Spectator on April 9, and "fact checked" by USA Today on April 26 -- where it was said that hospitals are being paid a lump sum payment of $5000 if they have a patient with COVID-19. If the patient has COVID-19 pneumonia then the payment increases to $13,000 --- but if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient gets put on a ventilator, that payment skyrockets to $39,000.
Senator Scott Jensen, R-Minn, who is a physician in Minnesota, was interviewed by The Ingraham Angle by host Laura Ingraham on April 8 on Fox News. He claimed that hospitals were being paid if they listed patients with COVID-19, where he said:
"How can anyone not believe that increasing the number of COVID-19 deaths may create an avenue for states to receive a larger portion of federal dollars. Already some states are complaining that they are not getting enough of the CARES Act dollars because they are having significantly more proportional COVID-19 deaths".
But on April 19, Jensen said on a Facebook video: "Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why? Because if it's a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for - if they're Medicare - typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it's COVID-19 pneumonia, then it's $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000".
Jensen was quick to add that he doesn't think physicians are "gaming the system", but said that other "players" like hospital administrators that could be putting pressure on physicians to call all diagnoses, even including "probable" cases of COVID-19, on discharge papers, and even death certificates, in order to get the maximum Medicare allowance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Hell, even Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk finds this fact interesting...
Read more on this story over at USA Today.
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