Health care costs (41 - 50 of 176 items)
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...
Primary Care Professionals: Recent Supply Trends, Projections, and Valuation of Services
GAO-08-472T: Published: Feb 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2008.
Most of the funding for programs under title VII of the Public Health Service Act goes toward primary care medicine and dentistry training and increasing medical student diversity. Despite a longstanding objective of title VII to increase the total supply of primary care professionals, health care marketplace signals suggest an undervaluing of primary care medicine, creating a concern about the fu...
End-of-Life Care: Key Components Provided by Programs in Four States
GAO-08-66: Published: Dec 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2008.
Approximately 28 percent of all Medicare spending in 1999 was used to provide care for beneficiaries in the last year of their lives. The Medicare hospice benefit is specifically designed for end-of-life care but is an elected benefit for individuals who have a terminal diagnosis with a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course. GAO was asked to identify examples of progr...
State Children's Health Insurance Program: Program Structure, Enrollment and Expenditure Experiences, and Outreach Approaches for States That Cover Adults
GAO-08-50: Published: Nov 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 2007.
In 2006 about 4.5 million individuals were enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Congress created SCHIP with the goal of significantly reducing the number of low-income uninsured children. Under certain circumstances, states may also cover adults, and in June 2006 about 349,000 adults were enrolled. Each state receives an annual allotment of federal funds, available as...
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...
Medicaid Third-Party Liability: Federal Guidance Needed to Help States Address Continuing Problems
GAO-06-862: Published: Sep 15, 2006. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2006.
Medicaid, jointly funded by the federal government and the states, finances health care for about 56 million low-income people at an estimated total cost of about $298 billion in fiscal year 2004. Congress intended Medicaid to be the payer of last resort: if Medicaid beneficiaries have another source of health care coverage--such as private health insurance or a health plan purchased individually...
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...
Consumer-Directed Health Plans: Small but Growing Enrollment Fueled by Rising Cost of Health Care Coverage
GAO-06-514: Published: Apr 28, 2006. Publicly Released: May 30, 2006.
Insurance carriers, employers, and individuals are showing increasing interest in consumer-directed health plans (CDHP). CDHPs typically combine a high-deductible health plan with a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or health savings account (HSA). HRAs and HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts used to pay enrollees' health care expenses, and unused balances may accrue for future use, potentially...
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: First-Year Experience with High-Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts
GAO-06-271: Published: Jan 31, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 2006.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) recently began offering high-deductible health plans (HDHP) coupled with tax-advantaged health savings accounts (HSA) that enrollees use to pay for health care. Unused HSA balances may accumulate for future use, providing enrollees an incentive to purchase health care prudently. The plans also provide decision support tools to help enrollees ma...