“The CMS final rule underscores how the Medicare payment system is broken, especially during a time when anesthesia groups are faced with inflation pressures, the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care worker burnout,” said ASA President Michael W. Champeau, M.D., FASA. “ASA has urged and will continue to advocate to Congress and regulatory agencies to minimize and reverse these cuts that negatively impact anesthesiologists and the care they provide to the important Medicare patient population.”

Within the fee schedule, CMS has finalized significant Medicare payment cuts to the Anesthesia Conversion Factor (CF), the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS), and the bundling of certain procedure codes that will result in anesthesiologists and other pain medicine physicians receiving less payment in 2023. The 2023 finalized CF is $20.6097, representing a decrease of 4.42% from the 2022 ACF of $21.5623. The 2023 finalized RBRVS is $33.0607, representing a decrease of 4.47% from the 2022 RBRVS of $34.6062.

In September 2022, ASA outlined the detrimental effects that these payment cuts would have on anesthesiologists and their groups.

ASA is committed to advocating for changes to the broken Medicare payment system and to ensuring anesthesiologists and other pain medicine physicians are paid fairly for the services they provide to their patients. ASA has supported an inflation adjustment to Medicare payments to allow for the compensation of physicians and other clinicians to match the rising cost of living across the country. ASA has also supported Congress and policymakers in re-evaluating the budget neutrality clauses of the Medicare PFS that greatly restrict payment and cause continued decreases in the CF.