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IPAB: Bad Medicine for Patient Care

January 29, 2014
The Independent Payment Advisory Board is bad medicine for patient care, deficit reduction and containing Medicare costs. This board, consisting of 15 bureaucrats appointed by the President, has been given the power to make decisions affecting patients’ quality of care, with almost no oversight and no means for challenging its decisions.

IPAB must be repealed. There is widespread support among patient advocacy groups and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for full repeal of the IPAB. In fact, more than 500 groups recently signed on to a letter urging Congress to repeal IPAB.

Leaving reimbursement decisions, and more importantly, decisions about a loved one’s medical future, solely in the hands of one insular council that relies on potentially outdated information and uses a process that limits stakeholder participation and input will have a negative impact on patient care.

There is no guarantee that IPAB’s recommendations will reduce overall costs, and could increase costs outside of Medicare. IPAB’s cuts could lead to short-term fixes, instead of long-term solutions that substantively bend the cost curve. Further, providers may be forced to raise prices in the private insurance market to compensate for the inadequate Medicare reimbursement, paying for federal ‘savings’ by shifting more costs onto hard-working American families.