The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, Baltimore, Md.) has released the final structure of a new payment system for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs).
According to the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (AAASC), based in Johnson City, Tenn., CMS has improved the list of procedures to be covered in the ASC setting. Though the final rule has added 793 new procedures, it falls short of providing Medicare beneficiaries with the range of safe choices available in the commercial insurance market.
Under the new payment system in 2008, ASCs would be paid using the same system as the hospital outpatient department, but would only receive approximately 67 percent of the hospital outpatient prospective payment system rate, the association says.
According to AAASC, it will work with members to adapt to these changes by January 1, 2008 in a way that minimizes the impact of the rule's shortcomings on Medicare beneficiaries and ASC providers.