The 35-day government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall may have had a direct impact on many urologists beyond the many inconveniences and the cost to taxpayers that it caused—a reduction of 22% in the reimbursement rate for a popular procedure. Because of the shutdown, leaders representing urology were unable to meet with officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss their concerns regarding the agency’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Payment System final rule for 2019.

The rule, which has the effect of slashing reimbursement to ASCs for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) by 22%, will make it difficult for many patients in rural communities to gain access to this procedure as they seek treatment for kidney stones, according to the major groups representing urologists. Deepak Kapoor, MD weighed in on the effects of this reimbursement decrease. To read Dr. Kapoor’s comments, click this article.