Over Five Hundred Organizations Send Joint Letter to Congress Urging Repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board
April 30, 2013 04:21 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) joined with a wide and diverse group of organizations - including all sectors of the health care industry, employers, purchasers of care, consumers and patients - in sending a letter April 25 urging the Congress to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The letter asserts that the IPAB will severely limit Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA (P.L. 111-148)) created IPAB, a board appointed by the President and empowered to make binding recommendations to cut spending in Medicare if its spending growth reaches certain levels.
“IPAB will have unprecedented power with little oversight, even though it has the power to literally change laws previously enacted by Congress,” says the letter. “Further, the law specifically prohibits administrative or judicial review of the Secretary’s implementation of a recommendation contained in an IPAB proposal.”
Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner defended IPAB in recent testimony on Capitol Hill, reminding lawmakers that it cannot ration care, raise beneficiary premiums or cost-sharing, reduce benefits, or change eligibility for Medicare. However, this would mean, as the letter points out, that the bulk of any recommended spending reductions will almost certainly come in the form of payment cuts to Medicare providers, negatively affecting patient access to care and innovative therapies.
The members of the IPAB have yet to be appointed. The recent slowdown in Medicare spending per beneficiary projected by CBO has cast doubt on whether IPAB recommendations to cut Medicare spending would be triggered before 2022.
A bipartisan bill (H.R. 352) has been introduced that would repeal the IPAB (please seeNAHC Report, January 28, 2013 to learn more).