‘Preventable’ COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated Americans have cost US nearly $6 BILLION in past three months, analysis shows
- About $5.7 billion was spent on ‘avoidable’ Covid hospitalizations over the course of three months, analysis shows
- Researchers counted 550,000 hospitalizations from June to August and estimate 287,000 were preventable
- The hospitalizations could have been prevented if eligible Americans had been vaccinated
- About $3.7 billion was spent on avoidable hospitalizations in August alone, with June costing $600 million and July $1.4 billion
Potentially preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations have cost the US billions of dollars, a new analysis shows.
Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) looked at hospitalization costs for unvaccinated people across the country since June 2021.
Researchers estimate that there have been 287,000 hospitalizations in the past three months, 187,000 of which were in August alone.
Each of these hospitalizations cost an average of $20,000, meaning there was $5.7 billion in avoidable health care spending in the past three months.
Researchers at KFF also note that this is a conservative estimate, meaning the true costs could be even higher.
A KFF analysis finds that from June to August 2021, Americans spent more than $5.7 billion on preventable Covid hospitals
Researchers estimate that there have been 287,000 hospitalizations in the past three months, mostly unvaccinated adults. Pictured: Staff help a newly arrived 81-year-old COVID-19 patient settle in the ICU ward at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, December 2020
Every adult in the US has been eligible for the Covid vaccine since about May, with each state fully opening the rollout in the spring.
This means that, in practice, 250 million Americans can get the shots – barring specific medical or religious circumstances that prevent it and not including teens 12 and older, who also qualify.
However, many have still not received the shots.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 74 percent of eligible Americans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and 63 percent have been fully vaccinated.
In particular, adults who have not been vaccinated make up almost all people hospitalized with the virus.
The KFF report estimates that 84 percent of the 456,000 Covid-related hospitalizations among unvaccinated people from June to August could have been prevented by vaccination.
About $600 million was lost as a result of these avoidable hospitalizations in June and $1.4 billion in July.
August was a particularly brutal month for the unvaccinated, with more than 100,000 people hospitalized and $3.7 billion lost.
The monetary costs of treating unvaccinated people for COVID-19 are borne not only by patients, but by society in general, including taxpayer-funded public programs and private insurance premiums paid by employees, companies and individual buyers,” the researchers wrote.
They also note that unvaccinated people with the virus may also have spread the virus more than vaccinated people, causing even more damage and costing more financially.
“In addition, while breakthrough infections and hospitalizations are rare, unvaccinated people are more likely to spread the virus among those who have taken steps to protect themselves and others, and those costs are not included in these estimates,” researchers wrote.
Health officials in the US have used every resource at their disposal to get the remaining eligible Americans vaccinated.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order forcing any company that employs more than 100 people in the US to institute a vaccine mandate or conduct weekly tests.
He will also demand that all federal employees and federal contractors be pinned to keep their jobs as well.
In addition, any organization that receives Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement must ensure that its employees are vaccinated, essentially mandating the injections for health professionals.