ONE OF THE MOST promising cost-control measures in the new health-care law is an entity called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. To be launched in 2015, IPAB will have the authority, if growth in health-care costs exceeds a certain target, to recommend changes to the Medicare program. Those changes would take effect automatically unless Congress came up with equivalent savings elsewhere.
The 15-member board of experts from across the health-care field, in other words, is a break-in-case-of-emergency provision; if other parts of the health-care law work as hoped to keep costs down, there will be no need to invoke IPAB’s powers. But if there is such a need, IPAB, if anything, should be made stronger. Current law gives it no sway over hospital payments for several years, the board cannot push changes in benefits or cost-sharing, and its purview is limited to Medicare.
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The Independent Payment Advisory Board deserves a chance - The Washington Post: