December 11, 2023
ASA Endorses New Legislation to Fully Avert Medicare Payment Cuts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) strongly endorses H.R. 6683, legislation that would block a more than 3% Medicare payment cut scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024. ASA supports the immediate passage of this legislation this year or early 2024, prior to full implementation of these destructive cuts.
“We commend these lawmakers for their leadership on preventing this Medicare payment cut and their efforts to ensure the viability of the nation’s physician practices,” said ASA President Ronald L. Harter, M.D., FASA. “Congress has a responsibility to act to preserve Medicare beneficiaries’ access to a full range of critical and essential health care services. As a result of years of continued cuts and freezes, Medicare payment rates for anesthesia services are virtually the same as they were in 1991 – 32 years ago. That is unacceptable and unsustainable.”
In the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized significant Medicare payment cuts to the Anesthesia Conversion Factor (CF) and the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS). The finalized anesthesia CF is $20.4349, a decrease of 3.27% from $21.1249 in 2023 while the 2024 RBRVS is $32.7442, a decrease of 3.37% from 2023.
“ASA is committed to advocating for changes to the broken Medicare payment system and to ensuring that the Medicare program supports essential anesthesiology, critical care and pain medicine services for beneficiaries,” Dr. Harter said. “As a first order of business, Congress must stop this payment cut. Once that cut is halted, we can turn our attention to fundamental and lasting reforms to the Medicare payment system, such as H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, which would add a mandatory annual inflation update to Medicare physician payments and end the punitive budget neutrality mechanism.”
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 57,000 members organized to advance the medical practice of anesthesiology and secure its future. ASA is committed to ensuring anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of all patients before, during and after surgery. ASA members also lead the care of critically ill patients in intensive care units, as well as treat pain in both acute and chronic settings.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about how anesthesiologists help ensure patient safety, visit asahq.org/madeforthismoment. Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.