Noteworthy News

OIG Recommends Site-Neutral Payments for Some Medicare Outpatient Surgery

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recommended that Medicare introduce site-neutral payments for low-risk and no-risk surgical procedures that could be performed in ambulatory surgical centers instead of hospital outpatient facilities.

hhsOIGBy lowering Medicare payments for procedures that could be performed in ambulatory surgical centers instead of more costly hospital outpatient departments, Medicare could save $15 billion from 2012 through 2017 while beneficiaries could save another $3 billion in cost-sharing payments, the report concluded.

Medicare rejected the recommendation in part because it did not include clinical criteria for determining which surgical procedures would be subject to such an approach.

Read a summary of the OIG report and find a link to the complete report here, on the OIG’s web site.  The report includes CMS’s response.

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