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On April 30, 2013, in a letter to acting CMS administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, Medicare’s acting chief actuary, Paul Spitalnic, wrote that the spending triggers for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will not be hit this year, nor are they expected to be activated for several more years. Over the past several years, Medicare per capita spending has slowed significantly, and projected expenditures for 2015 will not exceed the spending target that would trigger recommendations to reduce Medicare spending.

Despite this finding, it’s really a moot point because at the end of the day bad policy is just bad policy. This is exactly why organized neurosurgery continues to press Congress to repeal the IPAB, which, in future years, will STILL have the power to arbitrarily cut billions of dollars from Medicare, limiting seniors’ access to care. As part of our ongoing advocacy efforts, the AANS and CNS recently joined more than 500 other organizations in writing a letter to Congress urging repeal (and, yes, you read that correctly — 500 organizations — who all agree IPAB is bad news for Medicare beneficiaries’).

Neurosurgery recognizes that we must continue to address inefficiencies in our healthcare system, but the IPAB is simply the wrong solution for addressing these budgetary challenges.

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