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Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, on March 1 released the following statement of concern regarding the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB):
“In our increasingly diverse society, it is important that we have an honest and open discussion about the investment required to enable an American healthcare research, delivery and financing system that will support the provision of the highest quality care to all Americans. Unfortunately IPAB, a cost-containment mechanism that is a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will stymie that essential national conversation.
“The 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will develop specific proposals to contain the growth rate of Medicare spending if it is projected to exceed targets also established by the law. These proposals are transmitted to Congress in the form of legislative proposals that must be enacted or substituted on a legislatively mandated basis. Once it is in place, IPAB can be discontinued only by a joint resolution that must be introduced in January 2017.
Since IPAB is not a government agency, and is not promulgating regulations, it is subject neither to open meetings or public comment requirements. There are no options for appealing the IPAB recommendations. The provisions for judicial review appear to be limited to the recommendations issued by IPAB based upon deliberations that are not open to the public. Judicial or administrative review of the Secretary’s implementation of those recommendations is prohibited.
“The clear intent of the law is to insulate IPAB and its decisions from the full range of traditional democratic checks and balances. This is unwise and unwarranted. Instead of this draconian measure, we must pursue an integrated and practical approach to improving our nation’s healthcare system that will assure that the improved health status of the consumer of those services is the primary measure of success.
“The National Minority Quality Forum urges Congress to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board and to engage in the constructive deliberations that are necessary to protect the health of the people they were elected to serve.”
About the National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum) is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care that is available for and provided to all populations.
The Forum develops user-friendly, web-based disease indices that provide a unique two-dimensional view of the prevalence and impact of diseases by ZIP code, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. Visit the website at www.nmqf.org. Look for National Minority Forum on Facebook , and follow on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/NMQF).