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ASC pay increase for 2021 eliminated in MedPAC's draft proposal: 4 things to know

MedPAC, a committee that advises Congress on how to adjust Medicare payment rates, drafted proposals to adjust 2021 payment rates for ASCs, hospitals and physicians Dec. 5., according to Bloomberg Law.

Four things to know:

1. MedPAC will vote on eliminating a 2.8 percent payment increase for ASCs in 2021, as well as a proposal for a flat physician payment update in January. Bloomberg reported there was strong agreement among commissioners about the MedPAC payment recommendations, leading to an expedited vote.

2. The report also stated the commission is in agreement about requiring ASCs to provide CMS with annual cost reports to better evaluate centers' profit margins and revenue to assess payments. According to Bloomberg, MedPAC believes ASCs are already adequately compensated.

3. MedPAC will also vote on a recommendation adjusting the 2021 payment update to hospitals from 2.6 percent to 2 percent. The commission's preliminary recommendation includes a bonus payment model that would increase hospital payment rates by 3.3 percent in 2021, rewarding cost efficiency and value.

4. The commission recommended physicians participating in an alternative payment model receive a 5 percent pay increase in 2021 for care that's high quality and low cost.

"The MedPAC Commission's refusal to recognize the value of access to ASCs for Medicare beneficiaries and the taxpayers who fund the Medicare program is reflected in their absurd position on ASC payments," said William Prentice, CEO of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association in a statement to Becker's ASC Review. "We have repeatedly asked for an opportunity to meet with the commissioners to discuss how the ASC model can reduce Medicare costs but those requests have fallen on deaf ears. Fortunately, the leadership at CMS has a better understanding of our value and has consistently ignored these misguided recommendations."

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