CMS revises ambulatory surgery center rates

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this week issued a final rule revising the payment system for services furnished to people with Medicare in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to better align payments for similar services furnished in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD) or a physician’s office. 

In addition, the agency also issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment for services in HOPDs under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and would set new payment rates for ASCs under the revised system effective for services in 2008.

CMS said the ASC final rule allows ASCs to be paid for any surgical procedure that the agency determines does not pose a significant safety risk to Medicare beneficiaries when performed in an ASC and that is not expected to require an overnight stay. As a result, the final rule adds about 790 procedures for ASC payment beginning in 2008.