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will disrupt the practice of medicine. “Along with many excesses and con- strictions in the law, IPAB represents the worst of what is envisioned under the health care law,” he said. “As a physician, as a member of Congress, and as a pa- tient in my 60s, I am offended by the Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is not accountable to any constitu- ency and only exists to cut provider pay- ments to fit a mathematically created ‘target.’ ” He added that IPAB “would have


far-reaching implications beyond Medi- care for all of our nation’s doctors. IPAB throws the government into the middle of the sacred doctor-patient relation- ship with the power to influence prices, reimbursements, and access. Beyond controlling Medicare, IPAB’s rationing edicts would serve as the benchmark for private insurance carriers’ own payment changes. Because of limitations on what the control board can cut, the majority of spending reductions would come from cuts to Part B and Part D provider fees.” TMA joined 41 other medical societ-


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ies in urging Congress to abolish IPAB. In a letter to congressional leaders, they contended that IPAB will only worsen problems caused by the SGR. “It is estimated that it will now cost


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over $300 billion to ‘fix’ the SGR, and we clearly cannot afford the IPAB to become the next SGR,” they wrote. “To- day, the price tag for repealing the IPAB is relatively small, so Congress should seize this moment and repeal the IPAB now before the cost to do so becomes prohibitive, and access-to-care problems become acute.” Finally, they said, health care profes-


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sionals “representing roughly 37 percent of all Medicare payments — including hospitals and hospice care— are exempt from IPAB cuts until 2020; thus, IPAB- directed cuts will disproportionately fall on physicians.” Physicians already face fee cuts of more than 40 percent over the next decade and could be subject to double jeopardy from combined SGR/ IPAB reductions if nothing is done, they added. TMA supports eliminating IPAB be-


1-800-667-9723


cause the issue of Medicare spending is too important to be left in the hands of


38 TEXAS MEDICINE September 2012


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