Feb 5, 2021
For many surgeries and other types of procedures, payment from Medicare and most other insurers covers the procedure itself and related services delivered within either ten or 90 days after a surgical procedure during what is called the global period. This report describes the development of a practitioner survey designed to capture the level of post-operative visits that take place during the global period.
For many surgeries and procedures, Medicare and most other insurers cover a bundle of services, including post-operative visits, during the global period. As part of 2015 MACRA legislation, Congress mandated that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) collect data on the number and level of post-operative visits delivered in the global period to assess accuracy of payment. Among other efforts, CMS conducted a practitioner survey to assess the level of visits, using three procedures as proof of concept: cataract surgery, hip arthroplasty, and complex wound repair.
Using data reported via the survey, the authors found that reported physician time and work for cataract surgery and hip replacement post-operative visits were generally similar — but slightly less — than the levels expected based on the evaluation and management visits assumed to typically occur when valuing these procedures. Reported physician time and work for complex wound repair post-operative visits were higher than Physician Time File levels.
Based on experiences with various approaches to collecting data on the level of post-operative visits as well as the status quo, the authors suggest thinking of these data collection methods as a spectrum with both benefits and trade-offs. Given the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, the authors recommend consideration of a claims-based approach coupled with information about the level of service or the use of G-codes. A survey instrument could serve as a complement to a claims-based approach for procedures or groups of procedures for which valuation is thought to be particularly problematic.
Overview of the Current Valuation Approach for Post-Operative Services in the Global Period
Survey Development and Methods
Estimating the Level of Post-Operative Visits Through Survey Data
Lessons Learned and Limitations from Survey Development and Fielding
Summary of Direct Observation Task
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Survey
Survey Log-In and Informed Consent Text
Survey Screening Questions
Sample Office-Based Visit Module
Sample Practice Characteristics Module
Email Invitation from CMS
Letter from CMS Leadership Accompanying Email
Additional Analyses of Survey Data