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Why Surgery Partners' CEO isn't worried about CMS policy updates

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Eric Evans, CEO of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners, addressed investor questions about how the CMS 2022 proposed payment rule would affect its ASC business.

CMS proposed several changes, including raising the reimbursement rate for surgery centers and revising the definition of device-intensive procedures to pay more for around 440 surgeries next year.

"We remain encouraged by the rate increase in the proposal, which will increase aggregate rates across both hospital outpatient departments and ASCs by approximately 2.3 percent in 2022," Mr. Evans said.

He also touched on CMS' decision to rescind the planned elimination of the inpatient-only list and remove 258 procedures from the ASC covered procedures list originally added to the 2021 payment year.

"Based on our initial review of these procedures performed at our facilities year-to-date in 2021, we believe that these procedures represent less than one-half of 1 percent of our revenues across our book of business," Mr. Evans said. "Further, we remind investors that CMS' plan changes do not impact total joint procedures in the ASCs, such as hips and knees, and does not change the 19 cardiac codes moved to the ASC covered procedure list in 2019 and six cardiac procedures that moved in calendar year 2020."

He said he also expects CMS to expand the ASC covered procedure list in future years with revised criteria as technology and the practice of medicine evolves.

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