Health care costs (51 - 60 of 286 items)
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: Payment for Ambulatory Surgical Centers Should Be Based on the Hospital Outpatient Payment System
GAO-07-86: Published: Nov 30, 2006. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2006.
Medicare pays for surgical procedures performed at ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and hospital outpatient departments through different payment systems. Although they perform a similar set of procedures, no comparison of ASC and hospital outpatient per-procedure costs has been conducted. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 directed GAO to compare the relat...
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 Outpatient Payments: Rates for Certain Radioactive Sources Used in Brachytherapy Could Be Set Prospectively
GAO-06-635: Published: Jul 24, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 2006.
Generally, in paying for hospital outpatient procedures, Medicare makes prospectively set payments that are intended to cover the costs of all items and services delivered with the procedure. Medicare pays separately for some technologies that are too new to be represented in the claims data used to set rates. It also pays separately for certain technologies that are not new, such as radioactive s...
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...
Medicare Part B Drugs: CMS Data Source for Setting Payments Is Practical but Concerns Remain
GAO-06-971T: Published: Jul 13, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2006.
In 2005, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as required by law, began paying for physician-administered Part B drugs using information on the drugs' average sales price (ASP). Subsequently, CMS selected ASP as the basis to pay for a subset of Part B drugs provided at hospital outpatient departments. To calculate ASP, CMS uses price data submitted quarterly by manufacturers. GAO wa...
Medicare: Little Progress Made in Targeting Outpatient Therapy Payments to Beneficiaries' Needs
GAO-06-59: Published: Nov 10, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2005.
For years, Congress has wrestled with rising Medicare costs and improper payments for outpatient therapy services--physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. In 1997 Congress established per-person spending limits, or "therapy caps," for nonhospital outpatient therapy but, responding to concerns that some beneficiaries need extensive services, has since placed temporary...
Medicare: Comments on CMS Proposed 2006 Rates for Specified Covered Outpatient Drugs and Radiopharmaceuticals Used in Hospitals
GAO-06-17R: Published: Oct 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2005.
On July 25, 2005, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled "Medicare Program; Proposed Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Calendar Year 2006 Payment Rates." As part of these changes, CMS is proposing Medicare payment rates for certain hospital ou...
U.S. Insular Areas: Multiple Factors Affect Federal Health Care Funding
GAO-06-75: Published: Oct 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2005.
Five insular areas of the United States--American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands--benefit from federal health care financing and grant programs that help fund health care services to their over 4 million residents. However, notable differences exist in how the programs are funded or operate in the insular areas, such a...