APA Practice Organization supports repeal of Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board

Letter cites “crushing burden” to psychologists

By Government Relations Staff

June 23, 2011—In a letter to the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, the APA Practice Organization (APAPO) voiced support for the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011 (HR 452), a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

The June 13, 2011 letter, signed by APA Practice Organization Assistant Executive Director for Government Relations Marilyn Richmond, JD, was presented as part of the record in the June 14 Congressional hearing on the issue.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, the IPAB, whose members have not yet been appointed, would be tasked with making Medicare cost-cutting recommendations beginning in 2014. However, because the law exempts hospitals from cuts until 2020 and bars the IPAB from rationing health care, raising premiums, cost-shifting to beneficiaries or modifying the eligibility criteria, the burden would fall solely on Medicare health professionals and drug manufacturers.

In expressing APAPO’s support of the bill repealing the board before its creation, Richmond wrote that the livelihood of psychologists, “battered by a series of reductions in Medicare reimbursement under the current system,” would be imperiled by passage of the law. She pointed out that practicing psychologists “are being penalized for their cost-effectiveness.”

Read the complete June 13 letter. (PDF, 58KB)

 

For more information, contact the Government Relations office by email or at (202) 336-5889.