Department of Health and Human Services (71 - 80 of 101 items) in Past Year
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Information on Approval Process for State Innovation Waivers
GAO-16-637R: Published: Jul 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 2016.
The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (Treasury; referred to together as the Departments) have established a number of controls in their process for approving state proposals to waive certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), referred to as 1332 waivers. These controls seek to ensure that approved waivers meet the statutory criteria of...
Hospital Uncompensated Care: Federal Action Needed to Better Align Payments with Costs
GAO-16-568: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2016.
Key sources of federal support for hospitals incurring costs for services provided to uninsured and other low-income individuals (uncompensated care costs) include multiple types of Medicaid and Medicare payments totaling about $50 billion annually. GAO's analysis shows that through Medicaid, a joint federal-state program for low-income individuals, states made three types of payments that helped...
Medicare Part B: CMS Should Take Additional Steps to Verify Accuracy of Data Used to Set Payment Rates for Drugs
GAO-16-594: Published: Jul 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2016.
In 2014, the most recent year for which data were available, the Medicare program and its beneficiaries spent about $21 billion on approximately 46 million administrations of 551 Part B drugs paid based on average sales price (ASP). Six drugs—each exceeding $1 billion in expenditures—accounted for 36 percent of all expenditures on Part B ASP drugs, while a different 10 drugs—each administere...
Drug Shortages: Certain Factors Are Strongly Associated with This Persistent Public Health Challenge
GAO-16-595: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
When available supplies of prescription drugs are insufficient, patient care may be adversely affected. The number of new shortages has generally decreased since 2011, while the number of ongoing shortages remained high.Number of Drug Shortages from January 2010 through December 2015 To help address shortages, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prioritized the review of—more quickly reviewed...
Veterans Crisis Line: Additional Testing, Monitoring, and Information Needed to Ensure Better Quality Service
GAO-16-373: Published: May 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2016.
GAO found that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did not meet its call response time goals for the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), although extended call wait times were not common. VA's goal is to answer 90 percent of VCL calls at the VCL primary center within 30 seconds. Currently, calls not answered within 30 seconds route to VCL backup call centers; however, for 5 months of fiscal year 2015,...
Federal Autism Activities: Agencies Are Encouraging Early Identification and Providing Services, and Recent Actions Could Improve Coordination
GAO-16-446: Published: May 20, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2016.
Federal agencies have taken various actions to encourage early autism identification and interventions, such as specifically soliciting research in these areas. From fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2015, the departments of Defense (DOD), Education, and Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded about $395 million for research on early identification and interventions for autism.Federal programs...
Food and Drug Administration: Comprehensive Strategic Planning Needed to Enhance Coordination between Medical Product Centers
GAO-16-500: Published: May 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2016.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a strategic integrated management plan (SIMP) for its three centers that oversee medical products (biologics, drugs, and medical devices); however, GAO found that the plan does not incorporate leading practices for strategic planning or document a comprehensive strategy for the centers. FDA officials explained that circumstances at the time of the S...
Medical Product Oversight: FDA Needs More Strategic Planning to Guide Its Scientific Initiatives
GAO-16-432: Published: May 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2016.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks measurable goals to assess its progress in advancing regulatory science—the science supporting its effort to assess the products it regulates. The agency issued strategic planning documents in 2011 and 2013 to guide its regulatory science efforts and identify priority areas for conducting work, but these documents do not specify the targets and time f...
Medicare Fee-For-Service: Opportunities Remain to Improve Appeals Process
GAO-16-366: Published: May 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2016.
The appeals process for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims consists of four administrative levels of review within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and a fifth level in which appeals are reviewed by federal courts. Appeals are generally reviewed by each level sequentially, as appellants may appeal a decision to the next level depending on the prior outcome. Under the administr...
Medicare: Utilization and Expenditures for Complex Wheelchair Accessories
GAO-16-640R: Published: Jun 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2016.
The Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program spends millions of dollars annually to furnish wheelchairs and wheelchair accessories to Medicare beneficiaries. Certain power wheelchairs that are more complex than standard wheelchairs, referred to as complex rehabilitative technology (CRT) power group 3 wheelchairs, and the accessories used with these chairs accounted for a relatively small percentage...