OIG Report: ASCs Save Medicare, Beneficiaries Billions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found that outpatient surgical procedures performed in ambulatory surgery centers have saved Medicare more than $1 billion in each of the last several years, and have potential for greater savings in the future, according to an Ambulatory Surgery Center Association report.

The report, titled "Medicare and Beneficiaries Could Save Billions If CMS Reduces Hospital Outpatient Department Payment Rates for Ambulatory Surgical Center-Approved Procedures to Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Rates," concludes:

•    Medicare saved almost $7 billion during calendar years (CY) 2007 to 2011
•    Beneficiaries saved an additional $2 billion during that same period of time
•    Medicare could save an additional $12 billion during CYs 2012 to 2017
•    Beneficiaries could save an additional $3 billion during CYs 2012 to 2017


"Ambulatory surgery centers can save Medicare and its beneficiaries billions more than we currently do, but policymakers need to be mindful of how we maintain our high quality. ASC reimbursement under Medicare needs improvement, and any plan to adjust reimbursements to providers or shift volume to take advantage of the high quality and efficient care in ASCs must take that into consideration," said ASCA CEO William Prentice.

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