September 30th, 2016
If I asked you to tell me all you know about the:
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)
- Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
- Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER)
- Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)
I think, at least for the first three, you would have no idea what I was talking about. The last one you might remember because IPAB was talked about quite a bit during the Obamacare debate (remember the “death panel”). Sadly, you’ve never heard about them because they are kept in the shadows yet they are often used by our government to substantiate decisions on your healthcare even though they be biased in their recommendations.
For the next four Fridays I will be sending you emails that cover each of these organizations. I’ll describe how they came into existence, who pays them and how they impact your life. Everyone in Washington and on the campaign trail talk a lot about transparency, yet the fact that you’ve never heard of these powerful and influential organizations is disturbing. But the real scary thing about these organizations is that the President or Congress or even insurance companies have too much control over the “recommendations” that they produce.
It’s a lot like the polls we hear so much about these days. The outcome of an “unbiased” poll paid for by the Republicans differs from the “unbiased” poll paid for by the Democrats. It isn’t hard to predict how the polls will differ. When our government relies on these shadow organizations to provide the basis for decisions that affect Medicare and Medicaid and healthcare in general it is important for us to know who influences their recommendations.
My goal in this series is to bring these organizations out of the shadows. Tell you how they operate, who funds them and, through past examples, give you an idea of who controls them. Since it’s your healthcare that’s at risk I think you have a right to know.
Thair Phillips – President