Medicare spending at ASCs dropped 90% at the start of the pandemic: 3 notes

In April 2020, Medicare spending at ASCs dipped 90 percent, the lowest among any healthcare setting, according to a Dec. 2 report from the American Medical Association.

Three notes:

1. CMS spending rebounded for all major settings in the second half of 2020 but remained 4 to 15 percent below expected 2020 spending, the report found.

2. For 2020, CMS spending on physician services declined $13.9 billion below expected levels. 

3. Medicare spending on physical therapy was down $1.2 billion, ophthalmology decreased $1 billion and cardiology was down $720 million, according to the report.

"Medical practices that have not buckled under financial strain continue to be stretched clinically, emotionally and fiscally as the pandemic persists," AMA President Gerald Harmon, MD, said. "Yet physicians face an array of planned cuts that would reduce Medicare physician payments by nearly 10 percent for 2022. As struggling physician practices face a difficult and precarious road to recovery, now is the time for financial stability in Medicare and the AMA is strongly urging Congress to avert the planned payment cuts."

Physicians have urged Congress to pass a bill that would see Medicare reimbursement reduced by 6 percent in 2022 rather than 9.75 percent.

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