What is the Independent Payment Advisory Board?
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) was created as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and is charged with proposing cuts to Medicare if spending exceeds a certain growth target. To date, no members have been appointed to the 15-person board. According to the Medicare Trustees, IPAB is likely to be triggered for the first time in 2017, though if a board is not in place, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to put forth recommendations.
All proposed cuts from IPAB (or the Secretary) would be mandatory and any changes to Medicare would not require Congressional approval. This largely unchecked power puts patients at risk and could negatively impact patient care by limiting access to some medicines and treatments.
Update: On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed legislation into law that included the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.