Health care cost control (11 - 20 of 102 items)
Medicare: Challenges Remain in Setting Payments for Medical Equipment and Supplies and Covered Drugs
GAO-02-833T: Published: Jun 12, 2002. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 2002.
Medicare has paid higher than market rates for various medical equipment and supplies and often considerably higher than provider acquisition costs for Medicare-covered outpatient drugs. Congress has enacted a series of legislative changes affecting payment methods and payment adjustment authority for medical equipment and supplies and outpatient drugs since the late 1980s. However, progress in se...
Medigap: Current Polices Contain Coverage Gaps, Undermine Cost Control Incentives
GAO-02-533T: Published: Mar 14, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2002.
Medicare provides valuable and extensive health care coverage for 40 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries. Nevertheless, significant gaps leave some beneficiaries vulnerable to sizeable out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare provides no limit on out-of-pocket spending and no coverage for most outpatient prescription drugs. Most beneficiaries have supplemental coverage that helps to fill Medicare c...
Medicare Physician Payments: Spending Targets Encourage Fiscal Discipline, Modifications Could Stabilize Fees
GAO-02-441T: Published: Feb 14, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2002.
Congress implemented a physician fee schedule and a fee update formula to moderate spending growth relative to specified Medicare spending targets. These spending targets increase annually to reflect higher costs for physician services, the growth in the overall economy, and changes in the number of Medicare beneficiaries. Physician fees are adjusted for changes in the costs of providing services...
Retiree Health Insurance: Gaps in Coverage and Availability
GAO-02-178T: Published: Nov 1, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2001.
In 1999, about 10 million Americans aged 55 and older relied on employer-sponsored health benefits until they became eligible for Medicare or to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare. However, the number of employers offering these benefits has declined considerably during the past decade. Despite the recent strong economy and the relatively low increases in health insurance premi...
Medigap Insurance: Plans Are Widely Available but Have Limited Benefits and May Have High Costs
GAO-01-941: Published: Jul 31, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2001.
To protect themselves against large out-of-pocket expenses and help fill gaps in Medicare coverage, most beneficiaries buy supplemental insurance, known as Medigap; contribute to employer-sponsored health benefits to supplement Medicare coverage; or enroll in private Medicare+Choice plans rather than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Because Medicare+Choice plans are not available everywhere...
Prescription Drugs: Drug Company Programs Help Some People Who Lack Coverage
GAO-01-137: Published: Nov 16, 2000. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2000.
As Congress considers Medicare beneficiaries' access to prescription drug coverage, there is increased interest in the range of options available to help vulnerable populations obtain access to needed medications. Patient assistance programs, offered voluntarily by drug companies, are generally designed to provide prescription drugs to low-income persons who lack drug coverage. These programs typi...
Medicare: Coverage of Pumps Used to Administer Intravenous Drugs
HEHS-99-16R: Published: Nov 16, 1998. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of providing Medicare coverage for disposable infusion pumps, focusing on: (1) the clinical benefits and limitations of disposable infusion pumps; (2) the factors that affect whether a durable or disposable infusion pump is less expensive to use for home infusion; (3) some Medicaid and private insurance plans' home...
Comments on H.R. 4229: A Proposal for a Home Health Prospective Payment System
HEHS-97-144R: Published: May 28, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1997.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed H.R. 4229, introduced in the 104th Congress, which would require the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to establish, after congressional approval, a prospective payment system (PPS) for Medicare home health care 4 years after enactment that would pay fixed rates for episodes of care.GAO noted that: (1) home health agencies (HHA) would be...
Medicare: Home Health Cost Growth and Administration's Proposal for Prospective Payment
T-HEHS-97-92: Published: Mar 5, 1997. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 1997.
GAO discussed Medicare's home health care benefit and the administration's forthcoming legislative proposals related to this Medicare benefit.GAO noted that: (1) Medicare's home health care costs have grown because a larger portion of beneficiaries use this benefit than in the past and the number of services used by each beneficiary has more than doubled; (2) a combination of factors led to the in...
Medicare Post-Acute Care: Home Health and Skilled Nursing Facility Cost Growth and Proposals for Prospective Payment
T-HEHS-97-90: Published: Mar 4, 1997. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1997.
GAO discussed Medicare's skilled nursing facility (SNF) and home health care benefits and the administration's forthcoming legislative proposals related to them.GAO noted that: (1) Medicare's SNF costs have grown primarily because a larger portion of beneficiaries use SNFs than in the past and because of a large increase in the provision of ancillary services; (2) for home health care costs, both...