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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

Roe, Schwartz Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal IPAB

January 25, 2013—Representatives Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) Jan. 23 introduced the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 351) that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a board of 15 appointed officials responsible for indentifying savings through the Medicare program, authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152). Rep. Roe introduced similar legislation in the 112th Congress that was passed by the House on March 22, 2012, but not voted on by the Senate [see Washington Highlights, March 23, 2012].

The IPAB will have broad authority to craft and execute new Medicare policies, including changes to provider reimbursement. The law prohibits the board from making recommendations to change beneficiaries’ premiums, benefits, eligibility, and taxes.  Additionally, Congress would need to vote to block the proposals within a brief period of time. Otherwise, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would implement the policies.  According to statute, the first IPAB proposal must be submitted to the president and Congress by Jan. 15, 2014.

During a bipartisan press conference to introduce the bill, Rep. Schwartz said, “[H]istory has taught us that blunt instruments aimed at simply reducing costs are not the best solution.  As stewards of our financial resources, we need thoughtful policies that ensure access to quality and appropriate care for our seniors.”

Rep. Roe warned that the IPAB “is not allowed to say that a person should be denied a particular treatment or type of care, but the IPAB is allowed to cut payments to the physicians that perform these treatments low enough that the effect is no physician is willing to provide the treatment.  In my view, the board is rationing care if the effect of their decisions is reduced access to needed care.” 

The bipartisan bill has 83 additional cosponsors.

Contact;

Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281
Email: lmarquez@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org