Health care services (21 - 30 of 193 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...
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...
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...
Highlights of a Forum: Health Care 20 Years From Now--Taking Steps Today to Meet Tomorrow's Challenges
GAO-07-1155SP: Published: Sep 7, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2007.
"Unless we fix our health care system--in both the public and private sectors--rising health care costs will have severe, adverse consequences for the federal budget as well as the U.S. economy in the future." This is one of the key messages that Comptroller General David M. Walker has been delivering across the country in town-hall style meetings, in speeches, and on radio and television programs...
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...
DOD and VA Health Care: Incentives Program for Sharing Health Resources
GAO-05-310R: Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2005.
Combined, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provide health care services to about 16.8 million beneficiaries at an estimated cost of $58 billion for fiscal year 2005--$30.4 billion for DOD and $27.7 billion for VA. In 1982, the Congress passed the Veterans' Administration and Department of Defense Health Resources Sharing and Emergency Operations Act (Shar...
Health and Human Services' Estimate of Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Use of Information Technology
GAO-05-309R: Published: Feb 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 2005.
According to the Institute of Medicine and others, the U.S. health care delivery system is an information-intensive industry that is complex, inefficient, and highly fragmented, with estimated spending of $1.7 trillion in 2003. The Institute of Medicine has called for transformational change in the health care industry through the use of health information technology (IT) to improve the efficiency...