Facility Payments for Interventional Pain Management Procedures: Impact of Proposed Rules.Pain Physician. 2016 Sep-Oct; 19(7):E957-84.PP
In the face of the progressive implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a significant regulatory regime, and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed 2017 hospital outpatient department (HOPD) and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) payment rules on July 14, 2016, and the physician payment schedule was released July 15, 2016. U.S. health care costs continue to increase, occupying 17.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and surpassing $3 trillion in overall health care expenditure. Solo and independent practices face unique challenges and many are being acquired by hospitals or larger groups. This transfer of services to hospital settings is indisputably leading to an increase in the net cost to the system. Comparison of facility payments for interventional techniques in HOPD, ASC, and in-office settings shows wide variation for multiple interventional techniques. Major discrepancies in payment schedules are related to higher payments for hospitals than comparable treatments in in-office settings and ASCs. In-office procedures, which have been converted to ASC procedures, are reimbursed at as high as 1,366% higher than ASCs and 2,156% higher than in-office settings. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has made recommendations on avoiding the discrepancies and site-of-service differentials in in-office settings, hospital outpatient settings, and ASCs. These have not been implemented by CMS. In addition, there have been slow reductions in reimbursements over the recent years, which continue to accumulate, leading to significant reductions in paymentsIn conclusion, equalization of site-of-service differentials will simultaneously improve reimbursement patterns for interventional pain management procedures, increase access and quality of care, and finally, reduce costs for CMS, extending Medicare solvency.
Hospital outpatient departments, ambulatory surgery centers, physician in-office services, interventional pain management, interventional techniques.