6 details on MedPAC's report to Congress: Number of ASCs up 2.6% in 2018 and more

MedPAC released its 2020 report, including recommendations to maintain beneficiary access to ASC services and requiring ASCs, keeping providers under financial pressure to constrain costs and require centers to submit cost data.

Here are six things to know:

1. The number of ASCs increased by an average annual rate of 1.5 percent from 2013 to 2017 and the number of ASCs increased 2.6 percent in 2018. Ninety-three percent of the new ASCs in 2018 were for-profit facilities. As a result, the MedPAC analysis found that current ASC supply is adequate to service the volume of care for beneficiaries.

2. MedPAC reported improvement in the first five years of the ASC reported quality data, and it aims to make several changes to the upcoming quality reporting program. However, ASCs are not using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System measures and there is a lack of claims-based outcomes measures applying to ASCs, according to the report.

3. Medicare payments to ASCs per fee-for-service beneficiary were up 7.4 percent in 2018 after raising an average of 4.9 percent per year from 2013 to 2017.

4. MedPAC recommended HHS collect cost data from ASCs "without further delay," as the agency cannot calculate a Medicare margin without that information. It does so for the other provider types.

5. MedPAC also concluded that the payment measures for ASCs are adequate to provide access to services and recommended no updates through 2021.

6. In 2018, 78 ASCs closed or merged. However, there were 224 new ASCs, bringing the total number of ASCs up to 5,717.

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