Medicare (21 - 30 of 321 items)
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...
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...
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...
Medicare Physician Payment: Care Coordination Programs Used in Demonstration Show Promise, but Wider Use of Payment Approach May Be Limited
GAO-08-65: Published: Feb 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2008.
Congress mandated in 2000 that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct the Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration to test a hybrid payment methodology for physician groups that combines Medicare fee-for-service payments with new incentive payments. The 10 participants, with 200 or more physicians each, may earn annual bonus incentive payments by achieving cost savings and...
Medicare Inpatient Hospital Payments: CMS Has Used External Data for New Technologies in Certain Instances and Medicare Remains Primary Data Source
GAO-07-46: Published: Sep 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2007.
Under Medicare, hospitals generally receive fixed payments for inpatient stays based on diagnosis-related groups (DRG), a system that classifies stays by patient diagnoses and procedures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annually uses its own data to reclassify DRGs. CMS also makes add-on payments for stays involving new technologies that meet three eligibility criteria. Stakehol...
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...
Health Care Spending: Public Payers Face Burden of Entitlement Program Growth, While All Payers Face Rising Prices and Increasing Use of Services
GAO-07-497T: Published: Feb 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2007.
GAO testified about the challenges involved in financing health care. GAO has been particularly concerned about the federal government's long-term fiscal sustainability and the contribution of health care spending to this troubling picture. For the past several years, we have consistently reported that in just a few decades, the government will face a serious fiscal imbalance driven by known demog...
Medicare: CMS's Proposed Approach to Set Hospital Inpatient Payment Appears Promising
GAO-06-880: Published: Jul 28, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2006.
Under Medicare's inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS), hospitals generally receive fixed payments for hospital stays based on diagnosis-related groups (DRG), a system that classifies stays by patient diagnosis and procedures. CMS is required to at least annually update DRG payments to address changes in the cost of inpatient care. CMS uses charge-based weights to update these payments. Cost...
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...