Dear Representative Roe:
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) endorses H.R. 849, the “Protecting
Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017,”which would eliminate the Independent Payment
Advisory Board (IPAB) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. This Board is
empowered to make cuts in Medicare reimbursement without congressional authorization. We
are concerned that ACA gives too much authority to the IPAB.
AACC is a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to clinical
laboratory science and its application to healthcare. AACC brings together more than 50,000
clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from
around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry,
translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since
1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that
advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation.
Specifically, H.R. 849 would eliminate sections 3403 and 10320 of ACA, which define the IPAB
Board and its responsibilities, outline its membership, and establish a process for making
ongoing payment modifications and cuts. ACA stipulates that the IPAB recommended cuts in
Medicare reimbursement are triggered if certain healthcare spending limits are exceeded.
Congress can forestall these reductions by enacting a separate but equal package of spending
AACC is concerned that the IPAB will be making policy decisions with far-reaching
ramifications for our healthcare system without congressional or public input. We believe that
any deliberations involving payment system changes should be transparent and open to
stakeholder participation. The IPAB does not provide for such a process. AACC urges
Congress to repeal the IPAB and allow future payment modifications to be made through the
existing legislative process.
We look forward to working with you on this important matter. If you have any questions, please
email Vince Stine, PhD, AACC Director of Government Affairs, at [email protected].
Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, FACB, DABCC