Home E-Weekly December 13, 2016

ASCs Won't Like Proposed Payment Hike in 2018

Published: December 12, 2016

ENOUGH ALREADY? MedPAC believes Medicare's current ASC reimbursement rates are adequate.

Ambulatory surgery centers are being adequately reimbursed by CMS, but hospitals and doctors should get planned raises, says the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which advises Congress on Medicare issues, and which met last week to discuss its preliminary recommendations for 2018.

Additionally, according to published reports, MedPAC plans to recommend that ASCs be asked to submit cost data to CMS, to make it easier to assess reimbursement adequacy.

Under current law, hospital inpatient and outpatient services are slated for a 1.85% increase in 2018, and physician reimbursement is scheduled for a 0.5% raise. MedPAC plans to endorse both increases. But ASCs, which will get a 1.9% bump in 2017, may be forced to hold the line the following year. In 2015, Medicare reimbursements for ASCs were $4.1 billion and covered 3.4 million beneficiaries, which, MedPAC believes, indicates that ASCs are financially healthy on the whole.

MedPAC is expected to vote on its final recommendations in January.

Jim Burger

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