ASA is pleased to present the annual commercial conversion factor survey for 2022. Each summer, we survey anesthesiology practices across the country. We ask them to report up to five of their largest managed care (commercial) contract conversion factors (CFs) and the percentage each contract represents of their commercial population, along with some demographic information. Our objectives for the survey are to report to our members the average contractual amounts for the top five contracts and to present a view of regional trends in commercial contracting.
Based on the 2022 ASA commercial conversion factor survey results, the national average commercial conversion factor was $85.42, ranging between $81.22 and $89.52 for the five contracts. The national median remained at $78.00, ranging between $75.12 and $81.12 for the five contracts (Figure 1, Table 1). In the 2021 survey, the mean conversion factor ranged between $79.04 and $90.23 for the five contracts, and the median ranged between $74.00 and $81.50. In contrast, the current national Medicare conversion factor for anesthesia services is $21.5623, or about 25.24% of the 2022 overall mean commercial conversion factor.
Figure 1 shows the frequency in percent and distribution of contract values. In order to show all the values in limited space, we are using a broken axis for all plots. The ranges plotted are $0-$220, with a break indicated by solid lines and then $290-$300. The estimated normal distribution is the solid blue line. We have added a box-and-whiskers plot of the same data immediately below the histogram. The left and right whiskers delineate the minimum and maximum values. The box represents the interquartile range, the left edge of the box is the 25th percentile, the vertical line in the box is the median, and the right edge of the box is the 75th percentile. The solid diamond in the box is the mean.
Table 1 provides the overall survey results by reported managed care contract. As with previous surveys, we requested that participants submit data on five commercial contracts. Most practices submitted three or more contracts. The 2022 survey reflects valid responses from 312 practices in 46 states and Washington, D.C. The 2021 survey results included data from 219 practices in 47 states and D.C.
The survey was disseminated in June and July 2022. To comply with the principles established by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in their 1996 Statements of Antitrust Enforcement Policy in Health Care, the survey requested data that were at least three months old. In addition, the following three conditions must be met:
There are at least five providers reporting data upon which each disseminated statistic is based, and
No individual provider's data represents more than 25% on a weighted basis of that statistic, and
Any information disseminated is sufficiently aggregated such that it would not allow recipients to identify the prices charged or compensation paid by any particular provider.
To comply with the statements, we are only able to provide aggregated data. Since some states did not respond, and other states had insufficient response rates, we are unable to provide specific data for all states. We term “Eligible States” those that submitted sufficient data to be compliant with DOJ and FTC principles and provide state-specific data for only those states. We have 27 Eligible States this year.
This is the 12th year that we offered the survey electronically through the website www.surveymonkey.com. ASA urged participation through various electronic mail offerings, including ASA committee listserves, ASAP (all-member weekly e-mail digest), Vital Signs, the Monday Morning Outreach, communications to state component societies and our Anesthesia Administators and Executives (AAE) members, and via the ASA website.
The responses to the survey represented 332 unique practices. However, due to respondents providing incomplete data, we excluded 20 responses from the overall analysis. Our results are based on the data from 312 practices.
Table 2 presents respondent information for 277 practices (35 practices did not provide us with complete practice demographics) in the analytic sample per Major Geographic Region as identified by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) (asamonitor.pub/30PLj9B). These regions are as follows:
Eastern: CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV
Midwestern: IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI
Southern: AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OK, SC, TN, TX
Western: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY
These 277 practices employ or contract with 10,223.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) physician anesthesiologists, 6,975.9 FTE nurse anesthetists, and 1,296.5 FTE anesthesiologist assistants (AAs). The practices also work with an additional 2,401.0 FTE nurse anesthetists and 84 FTE AAs for whom the practice does not directly pay compensation (i.e., facility hires or contracts the nurse anesthetist or AA).
The 277 practices reported a total of 1,305 managed care contracts. This is more than the 933 contracts reported last year.
Table 3 provides the same respondent information by Minor Geographic Region as identified by the MGMA.
CAAKHI: CA, AK, HI
Eastern Midwest: IL, IN, KY, MI, OH
Lower Midwest: AR, KS, LA, MO, OK, TX
Mid Atlantic: DC, DE, MD, VA, WV
North Atlantic: NJ, NY, PA
Northeast: CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT
Northwest: ID, OR, WA
Rocky Mountain: AZ, CO, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY
Southeast: AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN
Upper Midwest: IA, MN, ND, NE, SD, WI
A total 1,246 of the contracts are based upon a 15-minute unit, 27 upon a 12-minute unit, and 32 are based upon a 10-minute unit. None were based upon an 8-minute unit. We normalized all contract conversion factors with 10- and 12-minute time units to the typical 15-minute time unit using an adjustment factor of 1.2352 for 10-minute units and 1.1176 for 12-minute units (Table 4).
The adjustment factors are calculated as ratios based on the mean time and mean base units per case. To make these calculations, we have used the CMS Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary (PSPS) data set, which represents over 21 million anesthesia claims (asamonitor.pub/3dpa9Wz).
The mean time was 69.7623 minutes, and mean base units per case were 5.2358 base units. Making the same calculations described above, the adjustment factors are similar to last year: 1.223 for 10-minute units and 1.112 for 12-minute units. We did not have any 8-minute units reported in last year's survey. Of note, the mean time has increased by 5.66 minutes since last year's mean time of 64.0949 minutes.
Groups continue to report flat fee contracts for certain procedures. One hundred forty (140) of the 241 groups (58.1%) responding to this question negotiated at least one flat fee contract (71 practices did not respond). Twenty four (24) of the 140 groups that reported having flat fees (17.1%) have flat fee contracts for Labor and Delivery. This is much less than last year's rate of 44.8% that reported flat fee contracts for Labor and Delivery in 2021.
Table 6 reports the conversion factor by MGMA Major Region. Contract 1 reflected the highest percentage of the reported commercial business, Contract 2 reflected the second highest percentage, and so on. Thus, when looking at the data, you can see that Contract 1 not only reflects the greatest number of responses (312) but also the highest average percentage of managed care business (22.14%, Table 1). We also reported the total number of responses for each contract in Table 1. Figure 2 shows the contract data for each major region as a box-and-whiskers plot.
This is the eighth year we are presenting state-specific data. Although we had respondents from 46 states and D.C, only 27 states were identified as eligible states (Figure 4, Table 8). Eligible states were those that complied with the DOJ and FTC requirements listed above. We believe by providing this data, we can encourage more participation in the 2023 CF study and increase the state-level detail of our reporting.
Based on our review of the analysis, the most interesting findings include:
The national average conversion factor increased to $85.42, while the median matched last year's median of $78.00. The range of mean values narrowed from a range of $79.04-$90.23 in 2021 to a range of $81.22-$89.52 in 2022.
As was the case in our 2018-2021 surveys, the Eastern Region has the highest mean this year. The Eastern Region mean in 2021 was $93.16, and this year it is $98.00.
The highest conversion factor reported was $300.00. In 2021, the highest conversion factor reported was $292.00.
In the 2021 survey, the Medicare conversion factor was 25.30% of the overall commercial mean. In this year's survey, it has fallen slightly to 25.24%.
Our sample size for this year's survey was higher than last year, continuing to represent a significant portion of U.S. practicing anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and AAs. We were pleased to have respondents report across a broad geographic basis, 46 states, and Washington, D.C., allowing us to provide detailed regional responses. The number of practices reporting allowed us to report state-specific data from 27 states – nine more than last year. Most practices included complete demographic information, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue and all respondents will supply complete information in future surveys.
We will continue to monitor the trends in the commercial conversion factor survey results and will launch the survey again in June 2023. It is important that as many practices as possible participate in the 2023 survey to help us obtain an accurate representation of the anesthesia commercial conversion factor. We hope that a significant growth in participants will allow us to publish data for every state. We look forward to your future participation and thank all the practices that contributed to the 2022 results.