Health care costs (31 - 40 of 176 items)
Nonprofit Hospitals: Variation in Standards and Guidance Limits Comparison of How Hospitals Meet Community Benefit Requirements
GAO-08-880: Published: Sep 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2008.
Nonprofit hospitals qualify for federal tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they meet certain requirements. Since 1969, IRS has not specified that these hospitals have to provide charity care to meet these requirements, so long as they engage in activities that benefit the community. Many of these activities are intended to benefit the approximately 47 million uninsured indivi...
Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy: Assets and Income Are Both Important in Subsidy Denials, and Access to State and Manufacturer Drug Programs Is Uneven
GAO-08-824: Published: Sep 5, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2008.
To help defray the cost of prescription drugs for beneficiaries with limited means, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) included the low-income subsidy (LIS) in the Part D prescription drug insurance program. To qualify for the LIS, beneficiaries must be enrolled in a Part D plan and their assets and income must be less than the thresholds established b...
Medicare and Medicaid: CMS and State Efforts to Interact with the Indian Health Service and Indian Tribes
GAO-08-724: Published: Jul 11, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 2008.
By law, facilities funded by the Indian Health Service (IHS) may retain reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid without an offsetting reduction in funding. Ensuring that IHS-funded facilities enroll individuals in--and obtain reimbursement from--Medicare and Medicaid can provide an important means of expanding the funding for health care services for the population served by IHS. The Centers for...
Medicare: Covert Testing Exposes Weaknesses in the Durable Medical Equipment Supplier Screening Process
GAO-08-955: Published: Jul 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2008.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), schemes to defraud the Medicare program have grown more elaborate in recent years. In particular, HHS has acknowledged Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's (CMS) oversight of suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) is inadequate to prevent fraud and abuse. Specifically, weaknesses in...
Hurricane Katrina: Trends in the Operating Results of Five Hospitals in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina
GAO-08-681R: Published: Jul 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2008.
New Orleans faces many challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including the challenge of reestablishing the health care system and hospitals within the system. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, and the subsequent flooding caused by the failure of the New Orleans levee systems, resulted in the sudden closure, damage, or disruption in services at many of the New Or...
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...
VA Health Care: Ineffective Controls over Medical Center Billings and Collections Limit Revenue from Third-Party Insurance Companies
GAO-08-675: Published: Jun 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 2008.
GAO previously reported that continuing problems in billing and collection processes at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) impaired VA's ability to maximize revenue from private (third-party) insurance companies. VA has undertaken several initiatives to address these weaknesses. GAO was asked to perform a follow-up audit to (1) evaluate VA billing controls, (2) assess VA-wide controls for col...
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...
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...