View Letter

Dear Senator Cornyn:

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) endorses S.260, 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, S.260 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 health care spending limits are exceeded. Congress can forestall these reductions by enacting a separate, but equal package of spending cuts.

AACC is concerned that the IPAB will be making policy decisions with far-reaching ramifications for our health care 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 vstine@aacc.org.

,p>Sincerely,

Michael J. Bennett PhD, FRCPath, FACB, DABCC President, AACC.