Senators Ask for ASC Medicare Payment Change

Twenty-one U.S. senators sent a letter dated Aug. 5 to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D., asking for the agency “to use its existing discretionary authority to make an important modification to the ASC payment system.”

The senators ask CMS in the letter to update ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payments using the hospital market basket index rather than the current consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U).

Ambulatory Surgical Center CASCC

In the 2011 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and ASC Payment System proposed rule, released July 2, CMS said it is considering a proposed 1.6 percent (CPI-U) payment update to ASCs for the 2011 payment year. “However, this would in effect freeze payments to ASCs due to application of a 1.6% productivity adjustment beginning next year,” senators say in the letter.

The lead authors of the letter were Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (D-Idaho).

Read the letter, posted on the ASC Association (ASCA) website.


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