The Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) payment system final rule was published in the Federal Register by HHS on August 2, 2007. The link below is to the text of the regulations. The new payment rates will be effective for Medicare 2008, although the first impact will not be fully phased in until 2011, as follows:

                                    2008   –   25%

                                    2009   –   50%

                                    2010   –   75%

                                    2011   – 100%

The new system will increase the number of covered procedures from 2,571 5o 3,300. ASC groups expect payment reduction to a schedule that pays about 65% of hospital outpatient department payment rates.

Modern Healthcare reports in its July 23, 2007 issue that "ACS’s Can’t Drive at 65". The final rule established only policies and formulas for CMS to use in calculating payment rates, and the 65% is an estimate.