Thomas C. Barber, MD
Chair, Council on Advocacy, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
“H.R. 1190 is an important step in protecting patient access to quality health care, and the AAOS commends the committee for passing this bipartisan legislation and continuing work towards reforming the Medicare program.
“The AAOS recognizes the importance of lowering health care costs and is committed to providing quality care that is cost-effective. However, as we saw with the recent SGR debate, employing ineffective mechanisms for making Medicare spending decisions results in repeated turbulence down the road and threatens seniors’ access to the health care they need. The IPAB is a similarly ineffective mechanism for controlling Medicare costs, and should be repealed now before it is activated.
“Not only does the IPAB severely limit congressional authority with little accountability, it eliminates transparency and precludes meaningful opportunity for stakeholder input. Further, requiring the IPAB to achieve savings in one-year increments is not conducive to generating savings through long-term delivery reforms.
“Finally, because some providers are exempt from IPAB cuts until 2020, IPAB-directed cuts will disproportionately fall on the non-exempt providers and suppliers, including orthopaedic surgeons. For that reason, more than 400 orthopaedic surgeons earlier this year visited Capitol Hill to urge repeal of the IPAB. AAOS is deeply concerned about the specific impact that IPAB-directed cuts will have on patient access to quality musculoskeletal care and we look forward to working with Congress to reach bipartisan offsets and enact this legislation.”