Health insurance cost control (11 - 20 of 170 items)
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Differences in Health Care Prices Across Metropolitan Areas Linked to Competition and Other Factors
GAO-06-281T: Published: Dec 2, 2005. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2005.
Differences in utilization of health care services across the country have been well documented, but less has been reported on geographic variation in price. As health care spending is the product of utilization and price, information on health care prices and factors contributing to price differences provides an additional perspective on drivers of health care spending. In an August 2005 report,...
Private Health Insurance: Number and Market Share of Carriers in the Small Group Health Insurance Market in 2004
GAO-06-155R: Published: Oct 13, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2005.
As a follow-up to our 2002 report on the competitiveness of the small group health insurance market, Congress requested updated information on each state and the District of Columbia. Specifically, Congress asked us to identify--for each state--the number of carriers licensed in the small group market, the largest carriers, and their market share.In summary, the median number of licensed carriers...
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Competition and Other Factors Linked to Wide Variation in Health Care Prices
GAO-05-856: Published: Aug 15, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2005.
Congress is concerned about the health care spending burden facing the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the largest private health insurance program in the country. Health care spending per person varies geographically, and the underlying causes for the spending variation have not been fully explored. Understanding market forces and other factors that may influence health care sp...
Medicare: CMS's Program Safeguards Did Not Deter Growth in Spending for Power Wheelchairs
GAO-05-43: Published: Nov 17, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 2004.
Medicare spending for power wheelchairs--one of the program's most expensive items of durable medical equipment (DME)--rose more than fourfold from 1999 through 2003, while overall Medicare spending rose by about 11 percent for the same period, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This spending growth has raised concerns that some of the payments may have been improper...
Medicare Physician Payments: Concerns about Spending Target System Prompt Interest in Considering Reforms
GAO-05-85: Published: Oct 8, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2004.
Concerns were raised about the current system Medicare uses to determine annual changes to physician fees--the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--when fees were reduced by 5.4 percent in 2002. Subsequent administrative and legislative actions modified or overrode the SGR system, resulting in fee increases for 2003, 2004, and 2005. However, projected fee reductions for 2006-2012 have raised new...
Medicare: CMS Did Not Control Rising Power Wheelchair Spending
GAO-04-716T: Published: Apr 28, 2004. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2004.
Medicare spending for power wheelchairs, one of the program's most expensive items of durable medical equipment (DME), rose 450 percent from 1999 through 2003, while overall Medicare spending rose by about 11 percent for the same period, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This spending growth has raised concerns that Medicare made improper payments and has payment rat...
Medicare: Financial Challenges and Considerations for Reform
GAO-03-577T: Published: Apr 10, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 2003.
We are pleased to be here today as Congress examines Medicare's financial health and consider the budgetary and economic challenges presented by an aging society. The Comptroller General has been particularly attentive to the sustainability challenges faced by the nation's two largest entitlement programs--Medicare and Social Security--for more than a decade since he served as a public trustee for...
Medicare: Observations on Program Sustainability and Strategies to Control Spending on Any Proposed Drug Benefit
GAO-03-650T: Published: Apr 9, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 2003.
The House Committee on Ways and Means is holding a hearing on modernizing Medicare and integrating prescription drugs into the program. There are growing concerns about gaps in the Medicare program, most notably the lack of outpatient prescription drug coverage, which may leave Medicare's most vulnerable beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket costs. At the same time, Medicare already faces a huge p...
Medicare Hospital and Physician Payments: Geographic Cost Adjustments Important to Preserve Beneficiary Access to Services
GAO-02-968T: Published: Jul 23, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2002.
This testimony discusses Medicare program payment adjustments to hospitals and physicians that account for geographic differences in costs. Because Medicare's hospital and physician payment systems are based on national rates, these geographic cost adjustments are essential to account for costs beyond providers' control and to ensure that beneficiaries have adequate access to services. If these ad...
Medicare: Orthotics Ruling Has Implications for Beneficiary Access and Federal and State Costs
GAO-02-330: Published: May 22, 2002. Publicly Released: May 22, 2002.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), became concerned that some suppliers were improperly billing Medicare for items that attach to wheelchairs and other equipment. Some suppliers were billing for such items using codes for orthodic devices, including arm, back, and neck braces that prov...