Health care cost control (41 - 50 of 647 items)
Health Savings Accounts: Participation Grew, and Many HSA-Eligible Plan Enrollees Did Not Open HSAs while Individuals Who Did Had Higher Incomes
GAO-08-802T: Published: May 14, 2008. Publicly Released: May 14, 2008.
With health care spending increasing, Congress enacted legislation effective in 2004 establishing Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to be coupled with eligible high-deductible health plans. The novel structure of eligible health plans coupled with HSAs has raised questions about who selects them and how they are used. Proponents contend that the lower premiums of the health plans and the tax-free savi...
Medicare: Competitive Bidding for Medical Equipment and Supplies Could Reduce Program Payments, but Adequate Oversight Is Critical
GAO-08-767T: Published: May 6, 2008. Publicly Released: May 6, 2008.
For more than a decade, GAO has reported that Medicare has paid higher than market rates for medical equipment and supplies provided to beneficiaries under Medicare Part B. Since 1989, Medicare has used fee schedules primarily based on historical charges to set payment amounts. But this approach lacks flexibility to keep pace with market changes and increases costs to the federal government and Me...
Health Savings Accounts: Participation Increased and Was More Common among Individuals with Higher Incomes
GAO-08-474R: Published: Apr 1, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2008.
With health care spending increasing in the United States, you enacted legislation effective in 2004 establishing tax advantaged health savings accounts (HSA) to be coupled with high-deductible health insurance plans. HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans typically have lower premiums than traditional health plans and HSAs allow account holders to accumulate tax-free savings to pay for medical...
DOD Pharmacy Program: Continued Efforts Needed to Reduce Growth in Spending at Retail Pharmacies
GAO-08-327: Published: Apr 4, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2008.
Estimated to reach $15 billion by 2015, the Department of Defense's (DOD) prescription drug spending has been a growing concern for the federal government. The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2007 required GAO to examine DOD's pharmacy benefits program. Specifically, as discussed with the committees of jurisdiction, GAO examined DOD's prescription drug spendin...
Medicaid Financing: Long-standing Concerns about Inappropriate State Arrangements Support Need for Improved Federal Oversight
GAO-08-650T: Published: Apr 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 2008.
Medicaid, a joint federal-state program, financed the health care for about 59 million low-income people in fiscal year 2006. States have considerable flexibility in deciding what medical services and individuals to cover and the amount to pay providers, and the federal government reimburses a portion of states' expenditures according to a formula established by law. The Centers for Medicare & Med...
VA Health Care: Additional Efforts to Better Assess Joint Ventures Needed
GAO-08-399: Published: Mar 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2008.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) have a long history of partnering to achieve more cost-effective use of health care resources. Their partnerships have evolved to include joint ventures--joint efforts to construct or share medical facilities. VA has maintained eight joint ventures with DOD across the country. VA has also developed partnerships, or affilia...
Health Insurance: Most College Students Are Covered through Employer-Sponsored Plans, and Some Colleges and States Are Taking Steps to Increase Coverage
GAO-08-389: Published: Mar 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2008.
College students face challenges obtaining health insurance--they may not have access to insurance through an employer, and as they get older, they may lose dependent coverage obtained through a parent's plan. Federal law ensures continued access to health insurance for some, but not all, such students. Without health insurance, college students may be unable to pay for their health care, and the...
Medicaid Demonstration Waivers: Recent HHS Approvals Continue to Raise Cost and Oversight Concerns
GAO-08-87: Published: Jan 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2008.
Medicaid, a joint federal and state program, finances health care for 60 million low-income people. Section 1115 of the Social Security Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain federal Medicaid requirements and allow demonstration projects that are likely to promote Medicaid objectives. Under federal policy, states must show that federal spending for proposed demo...
Medicare Advantage: Higher Spending Relative to Medicare Fee-for-Service May Not Ensure Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs for Beneficiaries
GAO-08-522T: Published: Feb 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2008.
Although private health plans were originally envisioned in the 1980s as a potential source of Medicare savings, such plans have generally increased program spending. In 2006, Medicare paid $59 billion to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans--an estimated $7.1 billion more than Medicare would have spent if MA beneficiaries had received care in Medicare fee-for-service (FFS). MA plans receive a per member...
Medicare Advantage: Increased Spending Relative to Medicare Fee-for-Service May Not Always Reduce Beneficiary Out-of-Pocket Costs
GAO-08-359: Published: Feb 22, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2008.
In 2006, the federal government spent about $59 billion on Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, an alternative to the original Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program. Although health plans were originally envisioned in the 1980s as a potential source of Medicare savings, such plans have generally increased program spending. Payments to MA plans have been estimated to be 12 percent greater than what Medi...