The NMA Stands In Opposition Of “Double Jeopardy” For Doctors

doctor with arms folded around chest( — The National Medical Association (NMA) is very concerned about, and strongly opposes, the implementation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) until the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and related reimbursement issues are fully resolved.

“IPAB is well-intentioned, but we fear the unintended consequences,” remarked Dr. Leonard Weather, NMA President. “We can almost predict a scenario where physicians face an unfortunate double jeopardy in a given year – a pay cut under the SGR, followed by another adjustment by the IPAB that makes matters worse,” he continued.

The SGR is the formula by which doctors are reimbursed for taking care of Medicare patients, and the IPAB is a provision in the Affordable Care Act intended to recommend cost saving measures for Medicare that will go into effect unless Congress intervenes within a specified period of time.

“Adding IPAB on top of the broken SGR system not only kicks the can down the road, it imperils patient access, exacerbates disparities in care, and compromises the health status of the vulnerable populations our members serve,” says Dr. Weather. “We can do better. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the medical community, the Administration, and Congress to devise a better solution,” says Dr. Weather.

The NMA will continue to discuss the ramifications of IPAB and other pressing policy issues at their upcoming House of Delegates meeting in Washington, D.C. on July 23-27, 2011.