July 10, 2017

AAN to Congress: Repeal IPAB

Congress took a break for the Fourth of July last week. So, nothing moved on either side of the Capitol, but deadlines are looming. One is implementation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that passed as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

  • The AAN joined more than 700 organizations and sent a letter to all members of Congress calling on them to repeal IPAB.
  • Although the board has not been appointed, IPAB will be charged with making recommendations to cut Medicare expenditures if spending growth reaches an arbitrary level. The AAN believes those levels will be hit soon.
  • If the IPAB has not been appointed, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is required to implement cuts in physician payments that are not subject to administrative or judicial review. Congress can overturn the action, but only by passing equal cuts in other federal spending. 

FAST Act Update

Since the last Capitol Hill Report update, the Senate version of the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, S. 431, by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) gained Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) as a cosponsor, bringing the total to ten.

The House version of FAST, H.R. 1148, by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) gained 21 cosponsors, bringing the total to 111 with the addition of:

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT)
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Rep. Stephen Knight (R-CA)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)
Rep. David Young (R-IA)
Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

  • The FAST Act has passed the Senate Finance Committee as part of the CHRONIC Care Act.
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee staff have indicated that the FAST Act is on the list for a potential hearing in the future.
  • In the 115th Congress, 4,564 bills have been introduced as of July 7. The FAST Act is one of just 83 (1.8%) that have more than 100 cosponsors.

News and Notes

  • AAN Member David Irwin, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, provided an overview of his aging and neuroscience research at a Capitol Hill briefing last week entitled “Advancing the Health of an Aging Population: Groundbreaking Research Supported by the NIA.”
  • The AAN joined over 100 organizations in signing on to a letter supporting S. 794, the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2017, a bill that improves transparency and accountability when Medicare contractors set local coverage determination policies.