ASA: Proposed Medicare cuts would set anesthesia rates back 30 years

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CMS' proposed fee schedule for 2021 would reduce anesthesiology specialists' Medicare payment rates to near what they were in 1991, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Warning that such drastic cuts would hurt anesthesiology practices already struggling due to the pandemic, ASA urged Congress to override a federal law requiring any payment increases to be offset with cuts.

The budget-neutrality mandate is the cause for the proposed cuts, which come at a time when physician anesthesiologists are on the front lines of the pandemic due to their expertise in intubation and ventilation.

"These proposed payment reductions will hurt practices already weakened by the economy," , said ASA President Mary Dale Peterson. "Now is not the time for payment cuts to front-line physicians."

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