Glossary Term

Site Neutrality

Site Neutrality is a health care position advocating for equal payments for equivalent services delivered in the hospital as in the physician’s office, including that any treatment covered under Medicare Part B be reimbursed at the same rate regardless of the facility in which the medical treatment was delivered. In the current Medicare payment system, the payment for a medical treatment delivered at a hospital outpatient department or ambulatory surgical center is higher than that same service would be paid for at a physician’s practice. Paying more for equivalent services in hospitals both increases the cost of Medicare services and encourages hospital groups to buy doctor practices since the practices, if within 35 miles of the hospital, have the potential to be classified as a hospital outpatient department. Facility-based adjustments to Medicare reimbursement is related to the program’s Physician Fee Schedule.

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