ASCA Cautions that Data Also Reveals Reimbursement Issues
ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 17, 2014 — In a report released today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that outpatient surgical procedures performed in ambulatory surgery centers have saved Medicare more than $1 billion in each of the last several years—and have the potential for even greater savings in the future.
As a result of the cost-savings that ASCs offer, the report concludes, “…Medicare saved almost $7 billion and beneficiaries saved an additional $2 billion during CYs 2007 through 2011. Also, Medicare and beneficiaries could save an additional $12 billion and $3 billion, respectively, during CYs 2012 through 2017.” Those estimates support similar findings made last year by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare.
Responding to the OIG’s findings, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Chief Executive Officer William Prentice said, “Ambulatory surgery centers can save Medicare and its beneficiaries billions more than we currently do, but policymakers need to be mindful of how we maintain our high quality. ASC reimbursement under Medicare needs improvement, and any plan to adjust reimbursements to providers or shift volume to take advantage of the high quality and efficient care in ASCs must take that into consideration.”
The full OIG report “Medicare and Beneficiaries Could Save Billions If CMS Reduces Hospital Outpatient Department Payment Rates for Ambulatory Surgical Center-Approved Procedures to Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Rates” is available here. The results of the University of California–Berkeley research are available here.
: ASCs are an integral part of the health care system, providing critical access to surgical and diagnostic care, including preventive services. As essential Medicare providers of surgical and cancer screening services, ASCs perform more than 40 percent of Medicare colonoscopies. Learn more about this critical life-saving procedure here.
About the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA): ASCA is working to raise awareness of the important role that ASCs play in the US health care system and the high-quality, cost-effective care that ASCs provide. For more about ASCA, go to ascassociation.org.
Why Choose an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC)?
Ambulatory Surgery Centers—known as ASCs—are modern health care facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care, combining new technology and advanced surgery techniques to offer outpatient care that is both effective and personal. Your ASC experience will involve easier access, better parking, more privacy, less paperwork and less stress than a comparable hospital visit.
ASCs have transformed the outpatient experience for millions of Americans by providing them with a more convenient alternative to hospital-based outpatient procedures—and done so with a strong track record of quality care and positive patient outcomes.
Patient satisfaction is a hallmark of the ASC industry. When the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General surveyed Medicare beneficiaries who had one of four procedures in an ASC, it found that 98% of the people were satisfied with their experience.
The high level of professionalism, quality and safety ASCs offer is an important reason why patients and physicians choose ASCs for surgical procedures.
Studies overwhelmingly show that the quality of care delivered in ASCs is equal to or better than comparable hospital care. Not only that, but Medicare and its beneficiaries pay an average 72% more in a hospital outpatient department than they would pay for the same procedure if performed in an ASC.
Coastal Eye Surgery Center, LLC (CESC) is staffed by experienced and expertly trained, board certified physicians. CESC’s professional nurses are knowledgeable RNs trained and experienced in their specialty. The CESC team is focused on helping you achieve optimum results through excellent care and best practices.
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