Medicare spending on orthopedic surgery plunged $587M in 2020

Alan Condon -  

Medicare spending on physician services declined $13.9 billion below expected levels in 2020, with orthopedic surgery accounting for $587M (23.7 percent) of that drop, the American Medical Association said in a Dec. 2 news release.

CMS spending on physician services in 2020 declined regardless of service type, setting or specialty, and state or region, but the severity of the impact varied significantly, according to the report.

Ten specialties that had the biggest decreases in CMS spending for physician services in 2020:

Specialty

Actual spending
($ billions)

Expected spending
($ billions)

Impact
($ billions)

Percentage Impact

Physical therapist

3.07

4.23

(1.17)

(28)

Ophthalmology

4.33

5.37

(1.04)

(19)

Diagnostic radiology

4.74

5.63

(0.89)

(16)

Internal medicine

8.22

9.1

(0.88)

(10)

Nurse Practitioner

4.2

4.8

(0.69)

(14)

Family medicine

5.04

5.72

(0.68)

(12)

Dermatology

3.26

3.98

(0.72)

(18)

Cardiology

4.48

5.2

(0.72)

(14)

Orthopedic surgery

3.18

3.76

(0.59)

(16)

Emergency medicine

2.52

3.03

(0.51)

(17)

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