November 03, 2017
House Passes ASA-Supported IPAB Repeal Bill with Significant Bipartisan Support
Yesterday, by a vote of 307 - 111, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act
, with significant bipartisan support.
ASA is pleased that the House took action to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a board of 15 non-elected and unaccountable appointees with sweeping powers to mandate across-the-board payment or other targeted reductions in Medicare Part B payments. These would have been on top of cuts related to sequestration and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
Last month, a key committee in the House of Representatives advanced the bill to the floor
for a vote. And while it was announced earlier this year that the Board would remain dormant for now,
ASA is pleased that this board is one step closer to being repealed.
Repealing IPAB is one of ASA’s legislative priorities. The board’s cuts will disproportionately fall on physicians, as some providers, including hospitals and hospice care, are exempt from IPAB cuts until 2020. Thus, along with the already unreasonably low Medicare payments for anesthesia services (“the 33 percent problem”), IPAB cuts could disproportionately impact physician anesthesiologists specifically.
ASA is a co-founder of the IPAB Repeal Coalition, which consists of over twenty specialty physician organizations representing more than 350,000 physicians and their patients. The coalition has been at the forefront of various legislative efforts to repeal IPAB. This week’s votes signal important progress in advancing this cause.
Next, H.R. 849
will be heard in the United States Senate. If it is successful there, it will advance to the President for his signature.
ASA physician leaders and staff will monitor the status of this important legislation, and alert members of developments.