Dear Ohio MGMA Membership – please see an urgent message below from Suzanne Falk, the Associate Director of Government Affairs at MGMA.
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee, two committees with jurisdiction over Medicare Part B, are holding hearings on H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under the Affordable Care Act. Under current law, the IPAB will be triggered when the growth rate in Medicare exceeds target growth rates (as reported by CMS’ Office of the Actuary), and will be responsible for recommending to Congress spending reductions in the Medicare program in order to reduce growth below the target growth rate. Although there have been no members appointed to the IPAB, if the IPAB is triggered, the Secretary of HHS is required to stand in place of the board and submit a proposal for reducing Medicare spending. Any proposal, whether from IPAB or HHS, is subject to a “fast track” legislative implementation process with virtually no oversight, leaving little-to-no room for recourse once IPAB-mandated payment cuts are implemented.
It is paramount that members of Congress act now, before future actuary reports trigger the IPAB and activate payment reductions to Medicare providers. Given the timeliness of the House Committee meetings this week, I wanted to inform everyone that we have a template message supporting IPAB repeal, which is below:
I urge you to vote to approve S. 260/H.R. 849, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
S. 260/H.R. 849 would repeal provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act providing for the IPAB. The IPAB is a 15-member board of non-elected officials, anticipated to begin recommendations by 2019, who will develop proposals to maintain Medicare spending below a targeted per capita growth rate. The board's proposals receive special expedited consideration by Congress. The legislation that created the IPAB includes a number of barriers that inhibit Congress from rejecting proposed cuts to Medicare payments. The Department of Health and Human Services must implement IPAB's proposals unless Congress adopts an alternative with equal savings. I am deeply concerned with empowering an independent commission to mandate payment cuts for physicians, who are already subject to an expenditure target and other payment reductions under the current Medicare physician payment system.
I urge Congress to abolish the IPAB and pass S.260/H.R. 849.
Sign you full legal name
If you are a national MGMA member, you can use the MGMA Advocacy Center, where you can contact lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation. If you are not, we encourage you to reach out to our state legislators to encourage them to support this legislation S.260/H.R. 849.
Tammy C. Langdon, MBA, FACHE
Ohio MGMA Legislative Liasion