Is There Evidence for Systematic Upcoding of ASA Physical Status Coincident With Payer Incentives? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry

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(Abstracted from Anesth Analg, 122:243–250, 2016)

Medicare does not reimburse anesthesiologists for caring for patients with higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status scores, in contrast with the practices of most private payors, resulting in a change in billing incentives once patients are eligible for Medicare. This study sought to confirm or deny researchers’ hypothesis that a discontinuity in reported ASA physical status scores would occur after controlling for the trend toward increased ASA physical status scores with age.

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