MedPAC proposes eliminating ASC payment updates in 2017: 5 key notes

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission may eliminate payment updates for ambulatory surgery centers next year, according to an ASCA report.

Here are five key notes:

1. MedPAC approved a recommendation to eliminate ASC payment updates in 2017 as well as recommendations that ASCs report cost data.

2. While eliminating ASC payment updates, MedPAC recommended updating inpatient and outpatient hospital payments in 2017, projected at 1.75 percent.

3. For 2016, CMS updated the annual payment by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. The update was 0.8 percent with a multifactor productivity adjustment at 0.5 percent. The MFP-adjusted CPI-U update factor was 0.3 percent. The rate increase was less than HOPDs, but more than the MedPAC proposed rate increase of 0 percent.

4. Beginning in 2016, CMS excluded codes for services provided on the covered ancillary services list that aren't provided ancillary and integral to a covered ASC surgical procedure. The codes removed included SRS treatment services CPT codes.

5. At this point, MedPAC's recommendations aren't binding on Congress. HHS and Congress's final decisions on payment are typically released in the fall and could differ from MedPAC's recommendations.

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