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Medicare spending on ASCs dropped 90% last April & 4 more notes

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Physician-owned ASCs and practices reported revenue declines in 2020 and lower Medicare spending when elective procedures were canceled or postponed during the pandemic. Revenue declines continued after elected procedures resumed at facilities across the U.S.


Five observations from an American Medical Association report and survey:

1. Medicare physician fee schedule spending was down as much as 90 percent for ASCs in April 2020, according to a March 2021 report from the AMA.

2. From January to June 2020, Medicare physician fee schedule spending dropped for multiple common ASC specialists:

· Ophthalmology: 29 percent
· Orthopedic surgery: 22 percent
· Anesthesiology: 21 percent
· General surgery 20 percent

3. Medicare physician fee schedule spending for the office setting dropped as much as 63 percent in April 2020, but recovered to within 10 percent to 20 percent lower than expected spending by the end of June.

4. The average physician practice revenue drop during the pandemic was 32 percent, and 81 percent of physicians said revenue was still below pre-pandemic levels in July and August, according to an AMA survey of 3,500 physicians.

5. Personal protective equipment spending was up 57 percent on average for physician practices last year, and 36 percent of physicians reported difficulty acquiring PPE.

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