OIG to evaluate ASCs compared to HOPDs

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) wants to determine the extent to which hospitals acquire ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and converts them to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs), according to the ASC Association. The project is included in the Fiscal Year 2013 Work Plan for the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The OIG will examine the effects of such acquisitions on Medicare payments and beneficiary cost sharing. Also, the OIG plans to review the appropriateness of Medicare' s methodology for setting ASC payment rates under the revised payment system. The OIG also will determine whether a payment disparity exists between the ASC and HOPD payment rates for similar surgery procedures provided in both settings.

According to the OIG, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and stakeholders also are interested in comparative data regarding the safety and quality of care provided by ASCs and HOPDs. Thus, the OIG plans to assess preoperative care, as well as care provided during surgeries and procedures, in both settings.

To access the OIG 2013 work plan, go to http://1.usa.gov/RyosV6.