Now that everyone is back to the grind and by now over their turkey-induced comas, we wanted to highlight that last week, Alex Valadka, MD, FAANS, FACS, a neurosurgeon from Austin, Texas, and spokesperson for the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, penned a letter to the New York Times on behalf of the Alliance in response to the newspaper’s November 18th editorial criticizing Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) repeal. The IPAB topic isn’t a stranger to Neurosurgery Blog as we have talked about it before. Today, we will let the full letter to the editor (available below) speak for itself.
To the Editor:
Your November 18th editorial opposing repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board or IPAB [“A Bad Idea Resurfaces”] clearly misleads readers about the dangers of this board. Physicians who participate in Medicare are already reimbursed at below market rates for providing care. They are facing their own “fiscal cliff” due to massive rate cuts over the next decade — 26.5% this year alone –unless Congress acts. Such cuts will require physicians to limit the number of Medicare patients they see if they are to keep their offices open, pay their staff, etc. Physicians who cannot afford to maintain their practices cannot treat patients and, like it or not, this is de facto rationing of care.
The IPAB will only add to this. Its cuts will have the force of law and fall squarely on the shoulders of physicians, further limiting their ability to treat Medicare patients.
Alex B. Valadka, MD, Alliance of Specialty Medicine