Due to flaws in the formula, Medicare payment rates for anesthesia services persistently hover around 33% of average commercial payor rates, far lower than Medicare payment rates for other specialties.
ASA realizes that fair payment is vital for the specialty and for patients. Check out these resources for more information about the 33% problem and what ASA is doing to ensure physician anesthesiologists are paid fairly for their lifesaving and life sustaining work.
Video 1 [below]: Johnathan L. Pregler, MD, 2021 ASA Board of Directors, California Alternative Directors, Chair of the 33% Problem Workgroup, explains the term and history of the 33% problem, how ASA took advantage of three opportunities to get payment increases but why the increases didn’t completely solve the problem, and what future work is on the horizon.
Video 2 [below]: Christopher A. Troianos, MD, FASE, FASA, Chair of the Committee on Economics, 2021, explains the 33% problem, including how commercial and government payment rates affect anesthesiologists and patients, and how ASA is taking action to help resolve the issue as well as how you can help.