President Bushs proposed two-year freeze on Medicare payment updates to ambulatory surgical centersto be followed by three years of annual increases that would equal the Consumer Price Index minus 0.65%is totally unacceptable and should be rejected by Congress, according to Ambulatory Surgery Center Association President Kathy Bryant.
The proposal would result in a savings to Medicare of $450 million over five years and mirror proposed cuts to other healthcare providers, Bryant said in a news release, but it comes on top of an existing six-year freeze.
During this period, nursing and medical supply costs have been escalating steadily, Bryant said. It is unthinkable that ASCs would be subjected to even more Medicare cuts at this time.
Medicare paid $2.9 billion to ASCs in 2006, an HHS representative said. -- by Andis Robeznieks