CMS Continues to Use CPI-U for ASC Payment Updates, Despite Acknowledging it "May Not Best Reflect Inflation"
Despite acknowledging that the hospital market basket would be a more appropriate system on which to base surgery center payment updates, CMS continues to base updates on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, according to an ASCA report.
CMS recently released its proposed ASC reimbursement rates for 2013, giving surgery center rates an across-the-board increase of 1.3 percent based on the CPI-U.
According to the ASCA, operators should keep in mind that ASC rates in 2013 will be different from 2012 rates due to other factors, including the surgery center's local wage index. In the proposed rule, CMS acknowledged that the CPI-U "may not best reflect inflation in the cost of providing ASC services" because it is highly weighed for housing and transportation, but did not adopt the hospital market basket as the basis for the ASC update.
CMS noted that "items included in the hospital market basket seem reflective of the kinds of costs incurred by ASCs." ASCA says it will continue to work to ensure parity between ASC and HOPD rates.
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