Health care costs (61 - 70 of 286 items)
Specialty Hospitals: Information on Potential New Facilities
GAO-05-647R: Published: May 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2005.
Beginning in the 1990s, there was a substantial increase in the number of short-term acute care hospitals that primarily treat patients with specific medical conditions or who need surgical procedures. Advocates of such hospitals, commonly referred to as specialty hospitals, contend that their focused missions and dedicated resources can both improve quality and reduce health care costs. Critics c...
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: CMS Needs a Plan for Updating Practice Expense Component
GAO-05-60: Published: Dec 13, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 2004.
Medicare's payments for the costs physicians incur in operating their practices are based on two sets of estimates: total practice expenses and resource estimates for individual services. Total practice expense estimates were derived from American Medical Association (AMA) physician surveys, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) refines with supplemental data submitted by medica...
Medicare Chemotherapy Payments: New Drug and Administration Fees Are Closer to Providers' Costs
GAO-05-142R: Published: Dec 1, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2004.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) required the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to change the payment rates for chemotherapy-related drugs and chemotherapy administration services. These changes followed reports that Medicare payments for chemotherapy-related drugs were much higher than physicians' costs to acquire them, and on...
Medicare Hospice Care: Modifications to Payment Methodology May Be Warranted
GAO-05-42: Published: Oct 15, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2004.
The Medicare hospice benefit provides care to patients with a terminal illness. For each patient, hospices are paid a per diem rate corresponding to one of four payment categories, which are based on service intensity and location of care. Since implementation in 1983, the payment methodology and rates have not been evaluated. The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 199...
Medicare: Appropriate Dispensing Fee Needed for Suppliers of Inhalation Therapy Drugs
GAO-05-72: Published: Oct 12, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2004.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) revised the payment formula for most of the outpatient drugs, including inhalation therapy drugs, covered under Medicare part B. Under the revised formula, effective 2005, Medicare's payment is intended to be closer to acquisition costs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that administers M...
Medicare Demonstration PPOs: Financial and Other Advantages for Plans, Few Advantages for Beneficiaries
GAO-04-960: Published: Sep 27, 2004. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 2004.
Preferred provider organizations (PPO) are more prevalent than other types of health plans in the private market, but, in 2003, only six PPOs contracted to serve Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare+Choice (M+C), Medicare's private health plan option. In recent years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that administers Medicare, initiated two demonstrations that include a...
Medicare: Information Needed to Assess Adequacy of Rate-Setting Methodology for Payments for Hospital Outpatient Services
GAO-04-772: Published: Sep 17, 2004. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2004.
Under the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS), hospitals receive a temporary additional payment for certain new drugs and devices while data on their costs are collected. In 2003, these payments expired for the first time for many drugs and devices. To incorporate these items into OPPS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) used its rate-setting methodology...
Medicare Dialysis Facilities: Beneficiary Access Stable and Problems in Payment System Being Addressed
GAO-04-450: Published: Jun 25, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2004.
Medicare covers about 90 percent of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the permanent loss of kidney function. Most ESRD patients receive regular hemodialysis treatments, a process that removes toxins from the blood, at a dialysis facility. A small percentage dialyzes-at home. From 1991 through 2001, the ESRD patient population more than doubled, from about 201,000 to 406,000. As the nee...
Medicare Home Health: Payments to Most Freestanding Home Health Agencies More Than Cover Their Costs
GAO-04-359: Published: Feb 27, 2004. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2004.
Under Medicare's home health prospective payment system (PPS), home health agencies (HHA) are paid a fixed amount, adjusted for differences in individual patients' expected care needs, for providing an episode (up to 60 days) of care. For this payment, HHAs provide therapy, skilled nursing, medical social service, and aide visits to patients in their homes. GAO previously reported that PPS payment...
Medicare: Discrepancy in Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Methodology Leads to Inaccurate Beneficiary Copayments and Medicate Payments
GAO-04-103R: Published: Oct 6, 2003. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2003.
Under the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS), beneficiaries can be responsible for paying 50 percent or more of the total payment for outpatient services they receive in hospitals. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) introduced a mechanism to gradually decrease beneficiary cost sharing to 20 percent of the payment rate for each hospital outpatient service. The Centers...