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The Independent Payment Advisory Board: A New Approach to Controlling Medicare Spending

In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act authorized the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to help control the growth in Medicare costs. Beginning in 2014, IPAB will issue recommendations to lower Medicare costs in the event that spending exceeds targets established in the health care reform law.

This brief explains how the Independent Payment Advisory Board will be structured, the process and timelines for IPAB to make recommendations to achieve Medicare savings and the scope of its recommendations. It also explores issues and questions that have been raised about IPAB, its implementation, and its workings in practice. Finally, the report describes the various policy options that could be considered to modify the role of IPAB in the future.

The brief was authored by Jack Ebeler of Health Policy Alternatives and Tricia Neuman and Juliette Cubanski of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Issue Brief (.pdf)