Trends in Medicare Reimbursements for Commonly Performed Laryngeal Procedures from 2000 to 2021

Rahul A. Patel, Sina J. Torabi, Said Izreig, R. Peter Manes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Numerous studies among different specialties have suggested that inflation-adjusted Medicare reimbursements have steadily declined in the last few decades. The objective of this study is to investigate whether this is true within the field of laryngology. Study Design: Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study. Setting: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Fee Schedule. Methods: 2000-2021 fees for laryngeal surgeries (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT] codes 31530, 31531, 31535, 31536, 31540, 31541, 31545, 31546, 31551-31554, 31560, 31561, 31570), and laryngectomies (CPTs 31360, 31365, 31367, 31368, 31370, 31375, 31380, 31382, 31390, 31395) were gathered. United States consumer price index (CPI) was used to adjust all gathered data for inflation to 2021 US dollars. Results: During the study period, unadjusted reimbursement for non-facility and facility laryngeal surgeries decreased an average of 6.1% and 6.6%, respectively. When adjusting for inflation, non-facility and facility laryngeal surgeries saw an average decrease of 17.8% (p < 0.001) and 28.5% (p < 0.001), respectively. Unadjusted reimbursement for facility laryngectomies saw an average increase of 40.2%, correlating to an inflation-adjusted decline of 8.9% (p < 0.001). Among laryngeal procedures overall, there was an average nominal increase of 17.0%, correlating to a 20.3% inflation-adjusted decline. Conclusion: In terms of inflation-adjusted dollars, reimbursements for laryngeal procedures have seen a large decrease in the last two decades. Understanding reimbursement trends is critical for sustainability of otolaryngology practices, and can be used by surgeons, hospital systems, and policymakers to guide future healthcare legislation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • head and neck surgery
  • health policy
  • inflation
  • laryngeal surgery
  • laryngectomy
  • laryngology
  • medicare
  • otolaryngology
  • reimbursements

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