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The IPAB: No Good Rotten Very Bad News for Medicare

The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) topic is not new for Neurosurgery Blog.  In fact, we have dissected and addressed its many flaws in previous blog posts.  Fortunately, for patients and physicians alike, today Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) provided Congress with a solution to the problem by introducing the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act.”  This bipartisan legislation would repeal the IPAB, thereby protecting seniors from Medicare cuts that could threaten their access to care.

For those folks who might be new to this topic, the IPAB was created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and is a board of 15 unelected and largely unaccountable government bureaucrats whose primary purpose is to cut Medicare spending.  In fact, by 2015, the IPAB will have the power to cut billions from the Medicare program.

That’s why yesterday, America’s neurosurgeons, along with 24 other medical societies endorsed this legislation and we applauded Rep. Roe for his efforts to repeal the IPAB.  Additionally, in the official statement we released, Dr. John A. Wilson, a neurosurgeon from Winston Salem, NC and chairman of the AANS/CNS Washington Committee said, “Allowing an unelected, unaccountable body with minimal congressional oversight to have the power to make arbitrary cuts to Medicare will negatively affect timely access to quality healthcare for our patients.”

Dr. Wilson added, “Neurosurgery recognizes that we need to control the growth of healthcare spending, but the IPAB is simply the wrong solution for addressing these budgetary challenges.  Instead, Congress needs to repeal the IPAB and develop a bipartisan workable alternative which reimburses physicians effectively and safeguards access of care to those in the Medicare program.”

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