ASCs responsible for $7.5B in Medicare savings, study finds

ASCs stand to save costs for Medicare and its beneficiaries over the next 10 years, according to an analysis conducted by Brent Fulton, PhD, and Sue Kim, PhD, of the University of California-Berkeley Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare.

Drs. Fulton and Kim analyzed Medicare Physician Supplier Procedure Specific data and reimbursement rates from ASC and hospital outpatient departments, using data from the 120 most commonly performed ASC procedures. The researchers also used CMS data of the projected number of Medicare beneficiaries to project future savings.

Four things to know:

1. Savings increased each year during the period studied, with $1.5 billion saved in 2008 and $2.3 billion saved in 2011.

2. A total of $1.5 billion was saved by Medicare beneficiaries themselves, with the program overall saving $6 billion from 2008 to 2011.

3. Over the next decade, the analysts projected ASCs will save Medicare $57.6 billion.

4. If more procedures shift to the outpatient setting, the program and its beneficiaries could save $5.76 billion annually.

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