The 20-year period between 1994 and 2014 saw increases in both the number of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries and in the volume of the health services they received that required anesthesia. We estimate that the number of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries increased approximately 10 percent during this period*1-3  while the anesthesia claims count increased 136 percent. In this abbreviated “Policy Matters,” we show that the mix of facility settings where these services were provided also changed substantially.

Our analysis was based on the Medicare Physician Supplier Procedure Summary Master File, which provides counts of the number of claims submitted on behalf of Medicare’s fee-for-service beneficiaries. Claim counts can be summarized by Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes, type of professional submitting the claim and place of service (i.e., facility setting such as inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital,...

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