Physician Groups Blast IPAB, Rally Behind Repeal Effort

Doug Desjardins , January 25, 2013

Physician groups are rallying around a renewed effort to eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The board, part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, makes recommendations on Medicare spending.

Bipartisan legislation to repeal IPAB was introduced in the House Wednesday by Rep. Phil Roe, MD, (R-TN) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA). It is the second attempt by the House to fold  IPAB.

Jeremy Lazarus, MD, president of the American Medical Association said the AMA supports the effort to eliminate a panel it believes could wield too much power over Medicare.

"IPAB is a panel that would have too little accountability and the power to make indiscriminate cuts that would adversely affect access to healthcare for patients," he said. Lazarus added that physicians are already fending off unreasonable cuts to Medicare called for under the sustainable growth rate formula and don't need another bureaucracy overseeing it.  

"Patients and physicians are still struggling with the frequent threat of drastic cuts from the broken SGR Medicare physician payment formula," said Lazarus. "IPAB would just be another arbitrary system that relies solely on payment cuts. We need to move away from these broken systems and focus on new payment and delivery models that give physicians the ability to improve patient care and reduce costs."

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1 comments on "Physician Groups Blast IPAB, Rally Behind Repeal Effort"

Cyndy Nayer (1/25/2013 at 10:12 AM)
The idea that physicians must wait every year to find out what their pay will be, according to the SGR, means that much of the year is not only focused on keeping up with evidence of good medicine but also managing a budget that has little or no predictability. CMS is now paying for outcomes (less readmissions for 3 conditions) as a part of the contractual arrangement for hospitals. Why can't physicians have a 3-year contract with achievable metrics? Why shouldn't a practicing physician sit on the IPAB board as a representation of the market sector, a voice to be heard? I do not think that FFS, uncontrolled, has worked well in this country, and we all concede that fraud in Medicare and Medicaid must be brought under control. But treating physicians as the "problem" does not solve the economic escalation of the costs. Let's bring folks together to solve the problems and provide a longer runway for doctors to support the change in health behaviors, including reduction in redundant imaging, appropriate use of treatments, etc., in a more predictable contract.




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