4 insights on increasing anesthesia use in outpatient GI procedures

A study, published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, examined trends in anesthesia service use during outpatient gastroenterology procedures.

Researchers used Medicare and commercial claims data from 2010 to 2013 to identify GI procedures and anesthesia services based on CPT codes. More than 6.6 million patients in the study sample had a GI procedure during the study period.

Here are four insights:

1. In Medicare patients, GI procedures involving anesthesia services accounted for 33.7 percent of all GI procedures in 2010 and 47.6 percent in 2013.

2. For commercially insured patients, GI procedures that included anesthesia services accounted for 38.3 percent and 53 percent of all GI procedures, in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

3. Overall, total anesthesia service use in low-risk patients increased 14 percent in the Medicare population and 15 percent in the commercially insured from 2010 to 2013.

4. From 2010 to 2013, spending associated with anesthesia services in low-risk patients increased from $3.14 million to $3.45 million per million Medicare enrollees and from $7.69 million to $10.66 million per million commercially insured patients.

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