Can the IPAB refuse to cover care that isn’t ‘cost-effective?’

Q. I’ve heard that the goal of IPAB is to save money, and that it will refuse to cover care that isn’t “cost-effective.” Is this true?

A. No. The Affordable Care Act is explicit: IPAB cannot make recommendations that “ration care, raise beneficiary premiums or cost-sharing, reduce benefits, or change eligibility for Medicare.” What it can do is reduce payment for treatments that medical evidence shows are not effective.