Spine reimbursement from CMS dropped 27% since 2000: 5 key notes


A team of researchers at Mayo Clinic, Arizona, calculated average reimbursement rates for neurosurgeons since 2000 and outlined the key trends at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting. 

Medscape reported the study authors examined the 10 most common spine and cranial neurosurgical procedures, compiling data for Medicare reimbursement. After calculating the average reimbursement rate for the procedures, Mayo's researchers compared the percent change to the change in the consumer price index from 2000 to 2018.

Five key findings:

1. After adjusting for inflation, the average reimbursement rate for all the spine and cranial procedures examined fell 25.8 percent from 2000 to 2018.

2. The reimbursement for spine procedures dropped 27 percent over the 18 years examined, after adjusting for inflation.

3. Cranial procedure reimbursement rate declined by 24.6 percent over the study period, after taking inflation into consideration.

4. The unadjusted reimbursement rate was up 7.63 percent for all procedures studied.

5. Neurosurgeons' total reimbursement rate, including both spine and cranial procedures, dropped 25.8 percent over the study period after adjusting for inflation.

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