Health care cost control (101 - 110 of 648 items)
Medigap: Current Polices Contain Coverage Gaps, Undermine Cost Control Incentives
GAO-02-533T: Published: Mar 14, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2002.
Medicare provides valuable and extensive health care coverage for 40 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries. Nevertheless, significant gaps leave some beneficiaries vulnerable to sizeable out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare provides no limit on out-of-pocket spending and no coverage for most outpatient prescription drugs. Most beneficiaries have supplemental coverage that helps to fill Medicare c...
VA Health Care: Allocation Changes Would Better Align Resources with Workload
GAO-02-338: Published: Feb 28, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2002.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $21 billion in fiscal year 2001 to treat 3.8 million veterans--most of whom had service-connected disabilities or low incomes. Since 1997, VA has used the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) system to allocate most of its medical care appropriation. GAO found that VERA has had a substantial impact on network resource allocations and workloads...
Medicare Physician Payments: Spending Targets Encourage Fiscal Discipline, Modifications Could Stabilize Fees
GAO-02-441T: Published: Feb 14, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2002.
Congress implemented a physician fee schedule and a fee update formula to moderate spending growth relative to specified Medicare spending targets. These spending targets increase annually to reflect higher costs for physician services, the growth in the overall economy, and changes in the number of Medicare beneficiaries. Physician fees are adjusted for changes in the costs of providing services...
Retiree Health Insurance: Gaps in Coverage and Availability
GAO-02-178T: Published: Nov 1, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2001.
In 1999, about 10 million Americans aged 55 and older relied on employer-sponsored health benefits until they became eligible for Medicare or to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare. However, the number of employers offering these benefits has declined considerably during the past decade. Despite the recent strong economy and the relatively low increases in health insurance premi...
Medicare: Payments for Covered Outpatient Drugs Exceed Providers' Costs
GAO-01-1118: Published: Sep 21, 2001. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2001.
Although physicians and other health care providers acknowledge that they can buy drugs for prices lower than Medicare payments, they contend that they need drug payments in excess of their actual costs to compensate for inadequate or nonexistent Medicare payments for administrating the drugs. Physicians are able to obtain Medicare-covered drugs at prices significantly below current Medicare payme...
Skilled Nursing Facilities: Services Excluded From Medicare's Daily Rate Need to be Reevaluated
GAO-01-816: Published: Aug 22, 2001. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2001.
Congress and the Health Care Financing Administration recognized that certain services needed to be excluded from the skilled nursing facility (SNF) prospective payment system (PPS) rate to help ensure beneficiary access to appropriate care and to financially protect the SNFs that take care of high-cost patients. The criteria used to identify services--high cost, infrequently provided during a SNF...
Medigap Insurance: Plans Are Widely Available but Have Limited Benefits and May Have High Costs
GAO-01-941: Published: Jul 31, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2001.
To protect themselves against large out-of-pocket expenses and help fill gaps in Medicare coverage, most beneficiaries buy supplemental insurance, known as Medigap; contribute to employer-sponsored health benefits to supplement Medicare coverage; or enroll in private Medicare+Choice plans rather than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Because Medicare+Choice plans are not available everywhere...
DOD and VA Pharmacy: Progress and Remaining Challenges in Jointly Buying and Mailing Out Drugs
GAO-01-588: Published: May 25, 2001. Publicly Released: May 25, 2001.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) have made important progress, particularly during the past year, in their efforts to jointly procure drugs to help control spiraling prescription drug costs. Although their collaborative efforts have been impressive, the two agencies have largely targeted generic drugs, which comprise less than 10 percent of their combined...
Defense Health Care: Across-the-Board Physician Rate Increases Would be Costly and Unnecessary
GAO-01-620: Published: May 24, 2001. Publicly Released: May 24, 2001.
This report describes the financial and management impact of increasing physician reimbursement rates in TRICARE -- the military's managed health care program. GAO found that changing the TRICARE reimbursement rate nationally to the 70th percentile of billed charges would be costly, inflationary, and largely unnecessary. Such an increase could cost the Defense Department (DOD) and its beneficiarie...
Prescription Drugs: Drug Company Programs Help Some People Who Lack Coverage
GAO-01-137: Published: Nov 16, 2000. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2000.
As Congress considers Medicare beneficiaries' access to prescription drug coverage, there is increased interest in the range of options available to help vulnerable populations obtain access to needed medications. Patient assistance programs, offered voluntarily by drug companies, are generally designed to provide prescription drugs to low-income persons who lack drug coverage. These programs typi...