Two Decades of Declining Medicare Reimbursement in Cardiac Surgery

John A. Treffalls, Aakash M. Shah, Christopher M. Worrell, Rebecca N. Treffalls, Nitin A. Das, Dawn S. Hui, John H. Calhoon

Producción científica: Articlerevisión exhaustiva

2 Citas (Scopus)


Background: Given the uncertainty of US health care finances, an understanding of reimbursement trends has become increasingly important in the field of cardiac surgery. We aimed to assess Medicare reimbursement trends for common cardiac surgical procedures from 2000 to 2022. Methods: Reimbursement data were extracted from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up Tool during the study period for 6 common cardiac operations: aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair and replacement, tricuspid valve replacement, Bentall procedure, and coronary artery bypass grafting. Reimbursement rates were adjusted for inflation to 2022 US dollars using the Consumer Price Index. Total percentage change and compound annual growth rate were calculated. A split-time analysis was performed to assess trends before and after 2015. Least squares and linear regressions were performed. The R2 value was calculated for each procedure, and slope was used to determine change in reimbursements over time. Results: Inflation-adjusted reimbursement decreased by 34.1% during the study period. The overall compound annual growth rate was −1.8%. Reimbursement trends differed by procedure (P < .001), with all reimbursements trending down (R2 > 0.62), except for mitral valve replacement (P = .21) and tricuspid valve replacement (P = .43). Coronary artery bypass grafting decreased the most (−44.4%), followed by aortic valve replacement (−40.1%), mitral valve repair (−38.5%), mitral valve replacement (−29.8%), Bentall procedure (−28.5%), and tricuspid valve replacement (−25.3%). In split-time analysis, reimbursement rates did not significantly change from 2000 to 2015 (P = .24) but decreased significantly from 2016 to 2022 (P = .001). Conclusions: Medicare reimbursement significantly decreased for most cardiac surgical procedures. These trends justify further advocacy by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons to maintain access to quality cardiac surgical care.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Páginas (desde-hasta)845-852
Número de páginas8
PublicaciónAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
EstadoPublished - oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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