ASCRS•ASOA Joins With Other Specialty and Surgical Organizations to Urge Congress to Rescind CMS Policy to Eliminate All 10- and 90-Day Global Surgical Codes; Early Analysis Predicts Significant Reductions to Ophthalmology 
This week, ASCRS•ASOA met with a newly formed coalition of other surgical and specialty medical groups to develop a strategy to rescind the CMS policy to transition all 10- and 90-day global surgical codes to 0-day global surgical codes. ASCRS•ASOA and others in the coalition assert that CMS’ planned elimination of the codes—which was finalized in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule—would negatively impact both physicians and patients, and preliminary analysis indicates that cataract surgery would be among the procedures targeted with the greatest cuts. The coalition will be working to educate lawmakers on the potentially harmful consequences of this plan and seeking immediate Congressional action to stop the policy from being implemented. Due to the efforts of ASCRS and the surgical coalition, Congress did include report language in the year-end spending bill instructing CMS to undertake further study on the policy, but stopped short of eliminating it after it received a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Under CMS’ policy, for which they have not yet developed a methodology, 10- and 90-day global bundles would be transitioned to 0-day bundles in 2017 and 2018, respectively. This would impact more than 4,200 existing codes, and new, postoperative surgical codes that will have a lower value than traditional E&M or eye codes will be developed. In addition to the lower reimbursement, physicians would also face higher administrative costs as a result. Finally, the plan is likely to negatively impact patients since they will now have to pay co-pays for each postoperative visit, which may discourage them from receiving required care.
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