|May 2006 · Vol. 18, No. 5
Fair reimbursement would increase laparoscopic procedures
In his February editorial, “Minimally invasive hysterectomy: We are at the tipping point,” Dr. Robert L. Barbieri asked for suggestions of ways to increase the percentage of laparoscopic and vaginal procedures and decrease the percentage of abdominal hysterectomies. I think laparoscopic hysterectomy rates would more than double if we were adequately compensated for our skill and time.
At present, Medicare compensation is about $900 to $1,400 for laparoscopic hysterectomy and about $1,000 for abdominal hysterectomy. Yet the laparoscopic approach takes about 38 minutes longer.1 Thus, Medicare actually penalizes us for choosing the laparoscopic route.