Ways and Means Approves IPAB Repeal Legislation

The House Ways and Means Committee today approved legislation by a vote of 31-8 to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). H.R. 1190, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, was introduced by Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the House and would eliminate sections 3403 and 10320 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which define the IPAB Board and its responsibilities, outline its membership, and establish a process for making ongoing payment modifications and cuts. The bill now goes to the House floor and could be considered before the end of the month.

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What We’re Reading Panel Votes to Repeal Obamacare Tax, The Hill, June 2, 2015 Medical Societies Decry Newly Proposed Medicare Pay Cut, Medscape, June 2, 2015 What if the White House Wins the Supreme Court Obamacare Case? National Journal, June 3, 2015 Bill to Reform Medicare Appeals Process Moves Forward, The Hill, June 3, 2015 House GOP Group Unveils Plan for Replacing Obamacare, Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2015 Doc: John Kerry Could Be On Quick Road to Recovery, Boston Herald, June 1, 2015

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AAOS Submits Comments on Meaningful Use and EHRs AAOS and 12 specialty societies recently submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed Meaningful Use (MU) stage 3 regulations, which is the final phase of the CMS electronic health records (EHR) incentive program. The comments expressed support for the common goals of improving quality and providing appropriate documentation of patients’ medical care, but there is concern that the complete set of objectives remains more relevant to primary care physicians, while disadvantaging specialty care physicians. The comments suggest that CMS, in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy and Standards Committee, create specialty-specific meaningful use standards for surgical specialists concurrent with promulgating the meaningful use standards already published for primary care physicians. Click here to read more.
House Committee Funds DOD Orthopaedic Research Program On Tuesday, June 2, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill on a voice vote. The legislation funds critical national security needs, military operations abroad, and health and quality-of-life programs for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. “Now, more than ever, we must ensure that our troops and officers have the resources they need to protect this great nation and our way of life,” Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said. “This bill makes responsible use of every tax dollar to give our armed forces the resources they need to stay safe, prepared, and in peak fighting form.” Click here to read more.