Experts say Medicare cuts may occur as soon as next month

Hospital Equipment

Two million Medicare users in Michigan could be affected by cuts perhaps sooner than expected.

A little known Independent Payment Advisory Board – or IPAB – was created under the federal Affordable Care Act. It’s formed when Medicare spending hits a level, which is determined by a complicated formula. The group is charged with bringing costs back down.

Experts predict the triggering level will be hit this year. Possibly as soon as next month. The group is expected to cut over a billion dollars for Medicare.

Mary Grealy is the President of the Healthcare Leadership Council. She said older people and those with disabilities will be affected.

“They are going to have fewer and fewer choices of physicians that will treat them, and we know this is particularly a problem in rural areas where we already have a limited number of physicians.”

Grealy said Congress has the power to overturn the cuts.

“Congress has the power to take back the power that they should have. They are the ones that are elected, they are the ones that should be making the decisions not an unelected board, and not the secretary of health and human services who is not elected either.”

Grealy said the IPAB would be able to rewrite any aspect of Medicare’s payment policies.

More information on the IPAB board and Medicare cuts is available at the following links.
http://www.aei.org/publication/dont-forget-about-the-ipab/

https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Research/ActuarialStudies/Downloads/IPAB-2016-06-22.pdf

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