American Society of Anesthesiologists Joins Surgical Care Coalition to Protect Seniors’ Access to Care

American Society of Anesthesiologists Joins Surgical Care Coalition to Protect Seniors’ Access to Care

WASHINGTON, August 29, 2022 — The Surgical Care Coalition (SCC) is excited to have the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) officially join the coalition as its 14th member as the coalition prepares to the stop Medicare cuts that threaten patient care year-after-year while advocating for Congress to permanently fix the Medicare payment system.

“The American Society of Anesthesiologists and our members are excited to join the Surgical Care Coalition’s ongoing efforts to elevate surgical care quality and access for millions of Americans,” said Randall Clark, MD, FASA, ASA President. “As a leading voice for the surgical profession, the SCC has provided invaluable advocacy in Washington and across the country against a backdrop of rising costs, declining surgical availability, and broken Medicare payment system.”

Anesthesiologists are a pivotal member of the surgical care team, and the ASA and its 55,000 members will enhance the coalition’s mission to improve the quality of care, and quality of life, for all patients. Founded in 1905, the ASA has worked to raise and maintain the standards of anesthesiology. Since its inception, the ASA has played an important role in advocating for all patients who require anesthesia, critical care services or relief from pain through providing education, research, and scientific knowledge to physician anesthesiologists and care team members.

“The addition of the ASA will strengthen the coalition’s work in addressing crucial policy issues affecting the delivery of surgical care across the nation,” said Patricia Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director. “ASA’s membership reflects the coalition’s efforts to improve all aspects of a patient’s surgical experience. Its members will be a vital addition to our collective efforts to advocate for our patients and as we work to prevent Medicare cuts that harm them.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed a nearly 4.5% cut to the Medicare Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) conversion factor and a nearly 4% cut to the anesthesia conversion factor, a key element for calculating Medicare payments. When combined with the pending 4% Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) cut, surgical care faces a nearly 8.5% cut next year. The coalition has pledged to work with Congress to find a sustainable, long-term solution to the Medicare payment system.

Since forming in 2020, the SCC has worked to address the most pressing policy issues facing surgical patients and the surgical profession. In that time, the SCC has successfully advocated Congress to limit the cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Learn more about how Medicare pays physician anesthesiologists here.