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Bipartisan Senate letter urges review of Medicare payments for anesthesiology

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ASA applauds the recent Senate letter dated August 23, 2010, to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging a review of Medicare payments for anesthesia services as potentially undervalued or misvalued. In total, 16 U.S. Senators signed the letter.

ASA is grateful to its members for bringing this issue to the attention of the U.S. Senate and is pleased to have strong support from these 16 Senators.

For years anesthesiology has suffered from a Medicare payment disparity. Recent analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as confirmed by ASA’s own survey data, indicates that Medicare rates are 33 percent of what commercial insurers pay for the same service. Meanwhile, most other physician specialties receive at least 80 percent of commercial rates from Medicare. This significant gap warrants further examination and continued action.

Please use the following links for more information:

Senate sign-on letter to Secretary Sebelius 

Congressional sign-on letter to Secretary Sebelius 

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, Lawmakers Ask HHS to Review Medicare Rates for Anesthesia Services

Becker’s ASC Review, Senate Letter to HHS Secretary Urges Review of Anesthesia Medicare Payments

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