Medicare 10% Reduction in Reimbursement for Anesthesia has been reduced to 3%, effective 01/01/2021

The approximate 10 percent reduction in the anesthesia conversion factor (CF) scheduled to take effect on Jan 1, 2021 has been modified.  A statement published by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) provided the following take on the CAA:

The scheduled cut to the anesthesia conversion factor will be reduced to a 3% cut rather than the previously proposed 10% cut. An improvement, but still entirely inadequate for a specialty already hampered with a flawed payment rate, whose members are caring for COVID-19 patients on the frontlines of the pandemic.

According to an update released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the new national anesthesia CF will officially be 21.5600 for 2021 instead of the originally set anesthesia CF of 20.0547.  This translates to a 2.9 percent reduction from the 2020 anesthesia CF, which is far better than the 9.7 percent reduction that was authorized in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule.  Your exact anesthesia CF will vary depending on your geographic location.  You can search for the CF in your area by going to the following CMS link: Anesthesiologists Center | CMS

9.6% in 2020 Anesthesia Reimbursement from Medicare

With the publication of the 2021 PFS Final Rule on December 1, the nation’s anesthesiologists and anesthetists were left in dismay, if not disbelief, having been dealt a significant financial setback.  The national anesthesia CF for 2021 has been set at 20.0547, down from the 2020 CF of 22.2016.  This represents a 9.6 percent decrease in potential anesthesia revenue—from a conversion factor perspective.  The exact anesthesia CF will vary based on your practice location.  To determine the anesthesia CF in your area, you can visit the following link:

This is the second year in a row that Medicare has reduced the reimbursement to the Anesthesia specialty.