The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) reported that the recently-approved Senate version of health care reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, includes a provision to establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
According to NAHC, the 15-member board’s primary task would be to make recommendations to Congress on extending the solvency of and slowing cost growth in Medicare, beginning in 2015 and forward. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the IPAB proposal would save $28.2 billion over 10 years.
Based on conditional Medicare spending triggers, IPAB recommendations would take effect unless Congress proposed an alternate plan. The provision in the Senate bill also requires that IPAB submit proposals to contain Medicare cost growth to the president, who in turn must submit proposals to Congress for immediate consideration. IPAB would be prohibited from submitting proposals that would ration care, increase revenues, or change benefits, eligibility, or Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including Parts A and B premiums). NAHC believes it is likely that the reductions would have to come from reimbursement rates for health care providers.
NAHC stated that they oppose this provision because it gives IPAB too much power and the 15-member board, appointed by the President, would be unlikely to have strong representation from home care and hospice. Nahc also stated that they have expressed their concerns to Senate and House leadership.
Visit our Legislative Action Center to write your own message to your federal representatives to voice your thoughts on this provision and send one of the pre-written messages to oppose cuts to home care.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.