In a statement released Wednesday in response to the president's speech, AHA president and CEO Rich Umbdenstock made it clear that the organization would prefer to see IPAB repealed rather than given more power. "America's hospitals support the repeal of IPAB because its existence permanently removes Congress from the decision-making process, and threatens the important dialogue between hospitals and their elected officials about the real healthcare needs of their communities. Expanding IPAB adds to that problem.
The White House deficit reduction plan sets a target of Medicare growth per beneficiary as the gross domestic product plus 0.5%.
Ardis D. Hoven, M.D., chair of the AMA said in a statement, "We have strong concerns about the potential for automatic, across-the-board Medicare spending cuts because they are not consistent with meeting the medical needs of patients, which is our primary focus. The AMA urges President Obama and Congress to work with the medical profession on patient-centered reforms.
"Like all Americans, physicians appreciate the urgent need to get the nation's fiscal house in order, and we are willing to do our part. The AMA is actively engaged in developing and promoting new health care payment and delivery models to promote high-quality, cost-effective care for all patients, including those on Medicare."
AHA's Umbdenstock is concerned by what he terms "formula-driven, arbitrary budget targets could result in across-the-board cuts to healthcare. We will continue to oppose the use of this trigger that could impede patients' access to care and further exacerbate the "cost-shift," which would increase healthcare costs to employers and other purchasers of private coverage."
Obama's plan also clamp down on states' use of provider taxes to lower their own spending while not providing additional health services through Medicaid.Once again AHA's Umbdenstock takes issue. "Curtailing this option will result in less funding and even more pressure to cut Medicaid, jeopardizing services to the poor and the disabled."
Another area targeted isspending cuts is prescriptions drugs.President Obama proposes that Medicare leverage its purchasing power to reduce costs. He would also like to implement management of high prescribers and users of prescription drugs, speed up the availability of generic biologics, and prohibit brand-name companies from entering into "pay for delay" agreements with generic companies.