The CMS expanded the number of procedures covered at ambulatory surgery centers by 65, effective July 5. The interim regulations update the agency's November 2004 proposal to add 25 procedures to the list of those covered. The agency also proposed deleting 100 procedures from the list -- but did not make the proposal final --saying data revealed the procedures were performed in physician offices more than half the time. Five procedures were removed because of concerns about safety and access to care. Read the interim regulations. The CMS also said it expected to propose in 2006 a new payment system for ambulatory surgery centers, as required by the Medicare Modernization Act. The system would be implemented by January 2008. -- by Ralph Loos
CMS revises list of covered procedures for surgery centers
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