'All of society has suffered financially': How ASCs are navigating physician pay changes

As inflation and the cost of running a practice rises, CMS's Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule for 2023 suggests further cuts to physician pay.

An orthopedic surgeon and a cardiovascular ASC director connected with Becker's to answer: "How is declining physician pay affecting the ASC industry?"

Editor's note: Response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Henry Goitz, MD. DMC Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (Warren, Mich.): While all aspects of reimbursements have been affected, and while COVID-19 income losses are real, it is my hope that physicians remain ethical in their care and management of our patients and realize that all of society has suffered financially. Needless to say, however, we must effectively negotiate with insurers to obtain a fair price commensurate with the service we, as surgeons, provide.

Luis Paz. Director Business Development and Marketing at Cardiovascular Surgical Suites (Coral Springs, Fla.): The feedback from many physicians I run across varies. Some of the comments are:

1. If I had known I would be dealing with so many regulations and constraints that would not allow me to be a doctor, I would have chosen a different career.

2. I don't know how much longer I can continue to be a doctor. It gets more difficult every year.

3. While reimbursements are getting smaller, the cost of running a practice keeps increasing. It's unsustainable.

Many of them are feeling anxiety or depression and are considering early retirement. Others are consolidating or selling their practices. The younger ones are more open to changes as they are not sure what to expect but want to feel they made the right decision by going into the medical field.

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