Beneficiaries (11 - 20 of 107 items)
Medicare Part B Imaging Services: Rapid Spending Growth and Shift to Physician Offices Indicate Need for CMS to Consider Additional Management Practices
GAO-08-452: Published: Jun 13, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2008.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--and the Congress, through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), recently acted to constrain spending on imaging services, one of the fastest growing set of services under Medicare Part B, which covers physician and other outpatient services. GAO was asked to provide informatio...
Medicare Advantage Organizations: Actual Expenses and Profits Compared to Projections for 2005
GAO-08-827R: Published: Jun 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2008.
Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations offer an alternative to the original Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program. Payments to MA organizations are, in part, based on the revenue and expenditure projections MA organizations submit to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--the agency that administers Medicare--prior to the start of each contract year. Once Medicare payments are determi...
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...
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...
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...
DOD Pharmacy Benefits Program: Reduced Pharmacy Costs Resulting from the Uniform Formulary and Manufacturer Rebates
GAO-08-172R: Published: Oct 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2007.
Rising pharmacy costs have been a long-standing issue for the Department of Defense (DOD). In 1998, we reported that DOD's fiscal year 1997 total pharmacy costs were $1.3 billion--a 13 percent increase from fiscal year 1995. In fiscal year 2006, DOD dispensed 115 million prescriptions to about 6.5 million beneficiaries at a cost of about $6 billion. One effort to control pharmacy costs is through...
Medicare Physician Services: Use of Services Increasing Nationwide and Relatively Few Beneficiaries Report Major Access Problems
GAO-06-704: Published: Jul 21, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2006.
Congress, policy analysts, and groups representing physicians have periodically raised concerns that Medicare's efforts to control spending on physician services by limiting annual updates to physician fees could have an adverse impact on beneficiaries' access to physician services. These concerns were heightened in 2002 when Medicare's formula for setting physician fees required a 5.4 percent red...
Medicare: Sponsors' Management of the Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Benefit
GAO-06-299R: Published: Jan 13, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 2006.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) added a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program, which became effective January 1, 2006. To assist Medicare beneficiaries with their prescription drug costs until the new benefit became available, the MMA also required the establishment of a temporary program, the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and...
Medicare: CMS's Beneficiary Education and Outreach Efforts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Program
GAO-06-139R: Published: Nov 18, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 required the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to broadly disseminate information on the program to the millions of Medicare beneficiaries--seniors and people under age 65 with permanent disabilities--who are eligible for a drug discount card. In response, CM...