This edition conveys tabulations on overall death rates and COVID death rates by state, including grouping states by the Governor’s political party.
This edition looks at the progression of COVID deaths and death rates by year in different cohorts (e.g., age and race/ethnicity).
This edition looks at the collective financial performance of a large group of MCOs across the 2018-2021 timeframe. Our key findings are that the health plans performed quite well during the COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021 – better than they had performed during the pre-COVID years of 2018 and 2019. Revenues and operating margins grew particularly sharply across these health plans’ Medicaid line of business during 2020 and 2021.
This edition presents the progression of large publicly traded health companies’ stock prices from January 1, 2019 through July 1, 2022. Our key purpose was to summarize stock prices through the COVID pandemic relative to the year before the pandemic began. While the pandemic has been devastating to thousands of small business, the large publicly traded companies fared pretty well as a group during the pandemic. Large health companies stock prices fared even better. Health insurance companies’ stock prices rose faster still, averaging a 55% increase from January 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022).
This edition quantifies the decrease in Medicaid prescription volume that has occurred during COVID, comparing usage during calendar years 2019, 2020, and 2021. The large decrease that has occurred – 16.4% from 2019 to 2021 on a per covered person basis — is highly concerning regarding its implications regarding the poverty population’s access to needed medications during the pandemic.
This edition of our 5 Slide Series examines excess deaths at the state level during the pandemic. Taking the difference of average monthly deaths during the pandemic and a pre-pandemic average, we find that states in the South and Southwest have experienced the largest percentage increase in deaths above normal. In addition, despite experiencing a particularly deadly first wave in the spring of 2020, New England states have collectively experienced the lowest number of excess deaths per capita; we find that 5 of the 11 states with the least number of excess deaths per capita are in this region. Second, we estimate excess deaths among different cohorts, including age, race/ethnicity, and cause of death. For age, we find that the 25–44 age bracket experienced the sharpest percentage increase in all-cause observed deaths in 2020 and 2021 compared to its 2015-2019 historical average. For race, we find that Hispanics experienced the sharpest percentage increase in all-cause observed deaths in 2020 and 2021, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives and Asians. Lastly, we use cause of death data to confirm that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease/dementia increased the most during the pandemic, followed by deaths from circulatory disease. This latter finding dovetails with our February 4th edition, which showed that COVID deaths have likely been substantially undercounted. The spike in Alzheimer’s deaths could involve COVID death categorization dynamics.
This edition examines the impact of the pandemic on overall deaths in 2020 and 2021. Comparing excess deaths (deaths above the pre-COVID annual average) at the national level from April 2020 to December 2021, we find that annual deaths in the US were more than one-fifth higher in 2020 and 2021 than they were on average between 2017 and 2019. We calculate 1.09 million excess deaths have occurred during the pandemic to date, which is about 264,000 (32%) above the number of COVID-confirmed deaths during this time (831,000). We also find the population-adjusted per capita death rate increased by 18% during the pandemic years compared to the pre-pandemic baseline – well above the second largest annual death increase in the last twenty years experienced between 2014 and 2015 (2.5%).
This edition reexamines COVID case, death, and vaccination trends in the wake of the new (potentially more contagious) Omicron variant. Cases and deaths in 2021 have already eclipsed 2020 figures. More than 28 million cases have been reported in 2021 – about 40% higher than in 2020. Nearly 408,000 deaths have been reported so far throughout 2021 – well above the nearly 360,000 reported in 2020.
This edition revisits pediatric COVID-19 trends in the United States. Schools have now been opened for several weeks, providing an opportunity to assess the initial effects of student gatherings in classrooms. We observe decreasing, albeit still extremely high, pediatric case counts during the week ending in September 23, with children composing 27% of all new cases – more than double their share reported during the first week of January. Around 200,000 new pediatric cases are being reported each day.
In this edition of our 5 Slide Series, we return to presenting COVID death trends, as the pandemic’s recent resurgence merits significant attention. Average daily deaths across the prior 7-day period were 361 on June 13, 274 on July 13, 650 on August 13, and 1,827 on September 13. Every two days, more Americans are currently dying of COVID than perished in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We break down these death numbers by state political lean, finding that states with Republican governors and majority Trump 2020 vote share have much higher per capita death rates, and compose a disproportionate share of national deaths compared to their share of the population.