|INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018|
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other things. Hospital outpatient services, reported by CPT codes, are assigned to clinically relevant Ambulatory Payment Classifications (“APCs”) used to determine the payment amount for services provided.
On October 1, 2008, CMS and NCHS issued a new family of ICD-9-CM procedure codes for “Robotically Assisted Procedures.” The purpose of the ICD-9-CM family of procedure codes, 17.4X, was to gather data on robotic assisted surgical procedures. Since October 1, 2015, a new family of ICD-10-PCS codes can be used-in conjunction with other applicable procedure codes-to describe various robotic assisted procedures. An inpatient surgical procedure, completed with or without robotic assistance, continues to be assigned to the clinically relevant MS-DRG.
Governments and insurance companies carefully review and increasingly challenge the prices charged for medical products and surgical services. Reimbursement rates from private companies vary depending on the procedure performed, the third-party payor, contract terms, and other factors. Because both hospitals and physicians may receive the same reimbursement for their respective services, with or without robotics, regardless of actual costs incurred by the hospital or physician in furnishing the care, including for the specific products used in that procedure, hospitals and physicians may decide not to use our products if reimbursement amounts are insufficient to cover any additional costs incurred when purchasing our products.
Domestic institutions typically bill various third-party payors, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs and private insurance plans for the primary surgical procedure that includes our products. Because our da Vinci Surgical System has been cleared for commercial distribution in the U.S. by the FDA, coverage and reimbursement by payors are generally determined by the medical necessity of the primary surgical procedure. We believe that the additional procedures we intend to pursue are established surgical procedures that are generally already reimbursable by government agencies and insurance companies for appropriately selected patients. If hospitals do not obtain sufficient reimbursement from third-party payors for procedures performed with our products, or if governmental and private payors’ policies do not cover surgical procedures performed using our products, we may not be able to generate the revenues necessary to support our business.
In countries outside the U.S., reimbursement is obtained from various sources, including governmental authorities, private health insurance plans, and labor unions. In most foreign countries, private insurance systems may also offer payments for some therapies. In addition, health maintenance organizations are emerging in certain European countries. To effectively conduct our business, we may need to seek OUS reimbursement approvals, and we do not know if these required approvals will be obtained in a timely manner or at all. In some countries, patients may be permitted to pay directly for surgical services; however, such “co-pay” practices are not common in most countries.
In the U.S., there have been and continue to be a number of legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs. In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (collectively, the “PPACA”), was enacted. The PPACA made changes that have significantly impacted healthcare providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The PPACA contained a number of provisions designed to generate the revenues necessary to fund health insurance coverage expansion, including, but not limited to fees or taxes on certain health-related industries, including medical device manufacturers. For sales between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015, medical device manufacturers were required to pay an excise tax (or sales tax) of 2.3% on certain U.S. medical device revenues. Under this provision, we incurred Medical Device Excise Tax (“MDET”) of approximately $17.0 million in 2015 which was included as a cost of revenue and a reduction of product gross profit margin. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (the “Appropriations Act”), enacted in December 2015, included a two-year moratorium on MDET such that medical device sales in 2016 and 2017 were exempt from the MDET. New legislation was passed in January 2018 such that MDET will be delayed until January 1, 2020.
The PPACA also appropriated funding to research the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies. It remains unclear how this research will influence future Medicare coverage and reimbursement decisions, as well as influence other third-party payor coverage and reimbursement policies. The PPACA, as well as other federal or state health care reform measures that may be adopted in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our business. The taxes imposed by PPACA and the expansion in the government’s role in the U.S. healthcare industry may result in decreased profits, lower reimbursement from payors for procedures that use our products, and/or reduced procedural volumes, all of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the PPACA was enacted. These changes included an aggregate reduction in Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect on April 1, 2013 and will remain in effect through 2025 unless additional Congressional action is taken. On January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, enacted on April 16, 2015 (“MACRA”), repealed the formula by which Medicare made annual payment adjustments to physicians and replaced the former formula with fixed annual updates and a new system of incentive payments scheduled to begin in 2019 that are based on various performance measures and physicians’ participation in alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations. Individual states in the U.S. have also become increasingly aggressive in passing legislation and implementing
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