Thursday, November 6, 2014

Your Tax Dollars At Work--Free Anesthesia For Screening Colonoscopies.

The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its physician fee schedule for 2015 and there was good news for anybody receiving Medicare. The government has decreed that Medicare recipients will not have to pay a dime for anesthesia services while getting a colonoscopy. No deductibles or copays will be charged. You can walk in with nothing but your Medicare card and receive free anesthesia.

You can thank the ASA for this freebie. Due to their vociferous lobbying, they urged the CMS to classify anesthesia services for colonoscopies as an essential benefit. In their strongly worded letter to the department, "Medicare should pay the anesthesia provider for the service; payment should not be conditioned on the presence or other specified diseases, conditions, or other diseases." Who could turn down a mandate like that?

So thank you, oh great ASA for providing us with more taxpayer money. I am curious though why your letter to the CMS uses the term "anesthesia provider" instead of "physician anesthesiologist" like you use for all your public statements. Don't tell me my membership dues are being used for you to lobby for the CRNA's to get their government handouts too.

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