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Surgeons Urge CMS to Increase Global Surgery Code Values

On July 22, the AANS and the CNS joined 22 other surgical organizations in sending a letter to CMS objecting to the agency’s ongoing failure to value global surgery codes appropriately. In 2021, the values for new stand-alone evaluation and management (E/M) office visit codes were increased, but CMS did not adjust the E/M portion of the 10- and 90-day global codes. The continued refusal to make these adjustments means that Medicare is systematically devaluing surgical care. Furthermore, in the past, when office visit code values increased, CMS also increased the post-operative E/M portion of the global surgery codes. The letter points out that to do otherwise will continue to:

  • Disrupt the relativity in the fee schedule;
  • Create specialty payment differentials; and
  • Ignore recommendations endorsed by nearly all medical specialties.

The surgical community will continue to advocate for fair Medicare payment policies, leveraging the efforts of the Surgical Care Coalition — of which the AANS and the CNS are founding members — to demonstrate the value of surgical care and the need to increase global surgery payments.