“The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, is one of the more notorious provisions of the Affordable Care Act because it is the perfect embodiment of belief in technocratic expertise. The IPAB’s 15 “expert” members would have great power and little accountability.”
“The IPAB is fundamentally flawed concept for two reasons:
It tramples on Congress’ power to write laws. The IPAB would have the authority to rewrite any aspect of Medicare’s payment policies -- everything from hospital payments, to physician fees, and even how Part D prescription drug plans pay for covered medications -- to achieve additional savings. Congress has the constitutional power to write new legislation for a reason; voters can hold their elected representatives accountable for the kinds of laws they pass. Not so with the IPAB. IPAB members will get six-year terms and will be allowed to be reappointed once. Removing them from their positions will be extremely difficult.
It emphasizes payment reductions at the expense of real Medicare reform. The constraints placed on what the IPAB can recommend were not accidental. The authors of the ACA support restraining Medicare spending, but only with government-imposed payment restrictions, not financial incentives. So the IPAB can impose blunt payment cuts on physicians and hospitals -- and for the HMOs serving Medicare Advantage patients -- but it cannot recommend structural changes, like giving participants in the program incentives for selecting low-cost, high-value care. If payments are reduced too much, the network of willing providers of medical services becomes very constrained, and the participants in the program begin to have trouble securing access to the care they need. Congress could easily find itself undoing payment cuts it previously approved, much like it did for years with the “doc fixes” aimed at undoing the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician fees.” - Don't Forget about the IPAB, Real Clear Health, James Capretta, 03/08/2016
Link to the entire article appears below: