Legislation, bundled payments may be stabilizing neurosurgery reimbursement

Rachel Popa -   Print  |


A Mayo Clinic study cited by Medscape examining spine surgery reimbursement presented at the 2019 American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting this month found that despite a decrease in Medicare reimbursement, legislation may help in the long run. 

The researchers looked at monetary trends in Medicare reimbursement from 2000 to 2018 for the 10 most common cranial and spinal neurosurgical procedures, finding that the average adjusted reimbursement for all procedures studied decreased by over 25 percent over the study period.

Study author Kent R. Richter said the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act passed in 2015 may have a stabilizing effect on reimbursement, given the law provides an annual increase in reimbursement through 2020.

Other payment models such as bundled payments and accountable care organizations may stabilize reimbursement as well.

"Despite these discussions of new payment models, the process of identifying a gold model standard of reimbursement in neurosurgery is still within its infancy," Mr. Richter told Medscape.

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