news image

March 02, 2012

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

March 1, 2012 | Washington D.C.

Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, today 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 Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.