One thing the Covid “plandemic” has done is show the world how corrupt the medical and pharmaceutical industries are while exposing their greed.
The mainstream media can no longer hide the facts about how much money hospitals get for Covid-19 patients.
What we all suspected to be true is now verified by “fact-checkers.”
Hospitals get paid three times as much money if their Medicare Covid-19 patient needs a ventilator!
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A typical payment for a Medicare patient labeled as pneumonia is $5,000.
If it’s Covid-19 pneumonia, the amount goes up to $13,000.
When a ventilator is used, the payment rises to $39,000.
USA Today “fact-checked” this statement and found it to be true.
@sullivanradio Medicare pays hospitals more money for Covid patients. FACT CHECK. USA TODAY.https://t.co/WZEMTa1QHI
— Grandpa Jim (@NoMoreHiccups) November 3, 2020
A reminder that mainstream media's USA Today certified this as true. Talk about screwed up incentives.
Fact check: Medicare pays hospitals more money for COVID-19 patients https://t.co/wDEg9eG9hL
— Ramon (@miscreanity) November 29, 2020
The pandemic protocols are not for our health but a bottom line.
Here is more from USA Today:
Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Minn., a physician in Minnesota, was interviewed by “The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham on April 8 on Fox News and claimed hospitals get paid more if Medicare patients are listed as having COVID-19 and get three times as much money if they need a ventilator.
The claim was published April 9 by The Spectator, a conservative publication. WorldNetDaily shared it April 10 and, according to Snopes, a related meme was shared on social media in mid-April.
Jensen took it to his own Facebook page April 15, saying, in part:
“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.”
On April 19, he doubled down on his assertion via video on his Facebook page.
Jensen said, “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 clarified in the video that he doesn’t think physicians are “gaming the system” so much as other “players,” such as hospital administrators, who he said may pressure physicians to cite all diagnoses, including “probable” COVID-19, on discharge papers or death certificates to get the higher Medicare allocation allowed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Past practice, Jensen said, did not include probabilities.
He noted that some states, including his home state of Minnesota, as well as California, list only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. Others, specifically New York, list all presumed cases, which is allowed under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of mid-April and which will result in a larger payout.
Jensen said he thinks the overall number of COVID-19 cases have been undercounted based on limitations in the number of tests available.
The coronavirus relief legislation created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients.
There have been no public reports that hospitals are exaggerating COVID-19 numbers to receive higher Medicare payments.
Jensen didn’t explicitly make that claim. He simply suggested there is an “avenue” to do so now that “plausible” COVID-19, not just laboratory-confirmed, cases can be greenlighted for Medicare payment and eligible for the 20% add-on allowed under the relief act.
The initial $30 billion – out of $100 billion – in the grants dedicated to health care providers to address the pandemic was disbursed according to 2019 Medicare reimbursements.
The second wave will focus on providers in areas more heavily affected by the outbreak, according to Kaiser Health News, giving rise to Jensen’s concern that hospitals could exploit the CDC’s guidelines allowing presumed cases.
Jensen did not return an email request from USA TODAY for comment about his claim.
USA TODAY reached out to Marty Makary, a surgeon and professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, about the claim. Makary said in an email April 21 that “what Scott Jensen said sounds right to me.”
Makary did not elaborate, answer additional questions or respond to a request for an interview.
USA TODAY reached out to the American Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals on April 22, but as of publication had not received a response.
How does Medicare pay?
Snopes investigated the claim, finding it’s plausible Medicare pays in the range Jensen mentions but doesn’t have a “one-size-fits-all” payment to hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
As explained by nurse Elizabeth Davis in her piece for verywellhealth.com, each hospital has a base payment rate assigned by Medicare. It takes into account nationwide and regional trends, including labor costs and varying health care resources in each market.
Then, each diagnosis-related group, which classifies various diagnoses into groups and subgroups, is assigned a weight based on the average amount of resources it takes to care for a patient. Those figures are multiplied to determine the payment from Medicare. A hospital in one city and state may be paid more or less for treating a patient than a hospital in another.
PolitiFact reporter Tom Kertscher wrote, “The dollar amounts Jensen cited are roughly what we found in an analysis published April 7 by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leading source of health information.”
Ask FactCheck weighed in April 21: “The figures cited by Jensen generally square with estimated Medicare payments for COVID-19 hospitalizations, based on average Medicare payments for patients with similar diagnoses.”
Ask FactCheck reporter Angelo Fichera, who interviewed Jensen, noted, “Jensen said he did not think that hospitals were intentionally misclassifying cases for financial reasons. But that’s how his comments have been widely interpreted and paraded on social media.”
Ask FactCheck’s conclusion: “Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment, but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting.”
Julie Aultman, a member of the editorial board of the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, told PolitiFact it is “very unlikely that physicians or hospitals will falsify data or be motivated by money to do so.”
Our ruling: True
We rate the claim that hospitals get paid more if patients are listed as COVID-19 and on ventilators as TRUE.
Hospitals and doctors do get paid more for Medicare patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or if it’s considered presumed they have COVID-19 absent a laboratory-confirmed test, and three times more if the patients are placed on a ventilator to cover the cost of care and loss of business resulting from a shift in focus to treat COVID-19 cases.
This higher allocation of funds has been made possible under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through a Medicare 20% add-on to its regular payment for COVID-19 patients, as verified by USA TODAY through the American Hospital Association Special Bulletin on the topic.
According to Dr. Scott Jensen, who is also running to be the next Governor of Minnesota, hospitals get paid more when Medicare patients have a Covid-19 label.
Last April, Dr. Jensen appeared on The Ingraham Angle to discuss the truth about the Covid-19 Medicare payments.
He confirmed that hospitals receive thousands more when a Medicare patient is labeled as Covid-19 and even more when a ventilator is used.
Check out the interview safely on Rumble below:
That certainly explains why hospitals are fond of ventilators!
Last year, ABC10 also reported similar findings after doing their investigation.
It appears that under the CARES Act, hospitals receive an extra 20% in Medicare reimbursements for a Covid patient.
In California, the US Department of Health and Human Services stated that 63 California hospitals received $50,000 for Covid patients due to the “public health emergency.”
ABC10 has more:
It’s a claim passed on through word of mouth and social media that prompted ABC10 viewers to reach out.
One viewer reached out to ABC10 and asked:
“People are saying that the report of deaths due to COVID-19 is [sic] false. People are saying that hospitals are getting funded if they say a death is virus related. Any truth to this?”
Well, this has to be broken down in two parts.
Do hospitals receive more funds if they say a death is related to COVID-19? And does this mean the number of coronavirus death are false or inflated?
ABC10 can verify that hospitals do get reimbursed for coronavirus related care, which unfortunately includes deaths.
As for the the second part of our viewer’s question, a medicare spokesperson said it is unlikely.
“Claims with inaccurate diagnosis or DRG would be subject to recoupment and/or other potential civil or criminal charges for false claims.”
So far, it is unverified that hospitals are falsifying records for financial gain.
WHAT WE FOUND:
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] which oversees the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, under the federal coronavirus aid relief bill known as the CARES Act, hospitals get an extra 20% in Medicare reimbursements on top of traditional rates due to the public health emergency.
That’s for COVID-19 related admissions, which can include deaths. The pay-out amount varies, according to a medicare spokesperson who said “medicare adjusts hospital payment based on geographic variation in local costs.”
Also, earlier this month, HHS announced a second round of federal relief for hospitals in high impact areas, totaling $10 billion.
Of that second-round money, HHS reported 63 California hospitals received $50,000 for each eligible coronavirus patient they admitted between Jan. 1 and June 10, 2020. That’s a combined total of more than $607 million.
The news of the enormous Covid-19 Medicare payouts is currently making its way through social media.
Here is how some have been reacting to the news on Twitter:
Everyone I know that fought Covid at home is still alive, but everyone I know that went to the hospital for covid ain’t coming back out! 🤦🏾♂️ they killing us in there y’all! Hospitals get paid 13,000 for each covid patient, but 39,000 for each covid patient that gets on ventilators
— Scooter (@lilScooter254) September 21, 2021
Yes, Hospitals are getting more money for killing people on ventilators.($39,000)And getting a little less for diagnosing patients death as Covid related.($19,000)
This was last year. Not sure if they the amounts are the same now.
— GAMING WITH ACE (@ACEZLEGENDZ) September 24, 2021
Putting people on a ventilator when they don't need it is what I'm talking about. Ventilators should be a LAST resort, but hospitals were receiving up to $39,000 for any covid patient put on a ventilator. They incentivized doing a dangerous treatment on people who don't need it
— PunkApu (@BasedTieson) September 24, 2021
What do you think is going to happen when you place a bounty of $13,000 on the head of every Covid patient admitted to a hospital & increase that to $39,000 when placed on a vent? Do ya think it would motivate lies & misdiagnoses?
Who & what should we believe?
— Screeminmeeme : #TeamSydney #VeritasVincet (@Screeminmeeme) September 23, 2021
2/ If that COVID patient goes on a ventilator, the hospital gets $39,000, (i.e. 3x as much).
HCQ has been on the market for decades, has fewer side-effects, costs about $20 a dose for out-patients. Remdesivir costs $2,400 per patient, it’s highly nephrotoxic (toxic to kidneys). pic.twitter.com/UrUQvSQRux
— Jaime Arredondo (@aime3verde) September 14, 2021
After looking at the Covid-19 figures reported by multiple outlets, it seems as though the medical industry is run more like a mafia funded by our tax dollars.
Self-interest and greed remain front-and-center in the Covid pandemic.
However, now the mainstream media is forced to report actual facts, confirming what we’ve known to be true all along.
If hospitals get paid more money to label someone with Covid-19 AND uses a ventilator, what else are they getting paid more to do to unsuspecting citizens for their bottom line?
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