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Billions in Medicare Savings Envisioned With Aligned Payments

June 15, 2022, 5:00 PM

Medicare would have spent $6.6 billion less in 2019, and beneficiaries would have saved $1.7 billion in out-of-pocket expenses if payment rates for care provided at hospital outpatient departments, ambulatory surgical centers, and doctor’s offices were priced the same, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Aligning payment rates across these ambulatory care settings in a site-neutral manner would discourage physicians and clinicians from providing care “in the settings with the highest payment rates, which increases total Medicare spending and beneficiary cost sharing without significant improvement in patient outcomes,” the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said in its annual June 2022 ...