Beneficiaries (31 - 40 of 77 items)
Medicare: Trends in Fees, Utilization, and Expenditures for Imaging Services before and after Implementation of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
GAO-08-1102R: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
Rapid spending growth for Medicare Part B--which covers physician and other outpatient services--has heightened concerns about the long-range fiscal sustainability of Medicare. Medicare Part B expenditures are expected to increase over the next decade at an average annual rate of about 8 percent, which is faster than the projected 4.8 percent annual growth rate in the national economy over this ti...
Medicare Part B Imaging Services: Rapid Spending Growth and Shift to Physician Offices Indicate Need for CMS to Consider Additional Management Practices
GAO-08-452: Published: Jun 13, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2008.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--and the Congress, through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), recently acted to constrain spending on imaging services, one of the fastest growing set of services under Medicare Part B, which covers physician and other outpatient services. GAO was asked to provide informatio...
TRICARE: Changes to Access Policies and Payment Rates for Services Provided by Civilian Obstetricians
GAO-07-941R: Published: Jul 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2007.
About 111,000 women covered by the Department of Defense's (DOD) TRICARE program gave birth during 2006. During their pregnancies, about half of these women received obstetric care from physicians and other providers practicing at military hospitals and clinics called military treatment facilities (MTF), while half received their care from civilian physicians and other civilian providers. In recen...
Medicare Ultrasound Procedures: Consideration of Payment Reforms and Technician Qualification Requirements
GAO-07-734: Published: Jun 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2007.
Medicare spending on imaging services, among which are ultrasound procedures that use sound waves to facilitate diagnosis, nearly doubled from 1999 to 2004. The Congress required GAO to examine Medicare's payment methods for ultrasound procedures and whether the technicians that conduct them--called sonographers--should be subject to qualification standards, such as having to undergo a certificati...
Medicare: Providing Systematic Feedback to Physicians on their Practice Patterns Is a Promising Step Toward Encouraging Program Efficiency
GAO-07-862T: Published: May 10, 2007. Publicly Released: May 10, 2007.
GAO was asked to discuss--based on Medicare: Focus on Physician Practice Patterns Can Lead to Greater Program Efficiency, GAO-07-307 (Apr. 30, 2007)--the importance in Medicare of providing feedback to physicians on how their use of health care resources compares with that of their peers. GAO's report discusses an approach to analyzing physicians' practice patterns in Medicare and ways the Centers...
Medicare: Focus on Physician Practice Patterns Can Lead to Greater Program Efficiency
GAO-07-307: Published: Apr 30, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2007.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) directed GAO to study the compensation of physicians in traditional fee-for service (FFS) Medicare. GAO explored linking physician compensation to efficiency--defined as providing and ordering a level of services that is sufficient to meet a patient's health care needs but not excessive, given the patient's health sta...
Medicare Spending: Preliminary Findings Regarding an Approach Focusing on Physician Practice Patterns to Foster Program Efficiency
GAO-07-567T: Published: Mar 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2007.
Medicare's current system of spending targets used to moderate spending growth for physician services and annually update physician fees is problematic. This spending target system--called the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--adjusts physician fees based on the extent to which actual spending aligns with specified targets. In recent years, because spending has exceeded the targets, the system...
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 Fee-for-Service Beneficiary Access to Physician Services: Trends in Utilization of Services, 2000 to 2002
GAO-05-145R: Published: Jan 12, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 2005.
In the 1990s, several reforms to Medicare physician fees were implemented to help control spending growth in the traditional Medicare program, known as fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. Concerns were raised that these reforms might have a negative impact on Medicare beneficiaries' access to physician services, but at the end of the decade, there was little or no evidence of nationwide access problem...
Medicare Preventive Services: Most Beneficiaries Receive Some but Not All Recommended Services
GAO-04-1004T: Published: Sep 21, 2004. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2004.
Preventive care depends on identifying health risks and on taking steps to control these risks. In contrast, Medicare, the federal health program insuring almost 35 million beneficiaries age 65 or older, was established largely to help pay beneficiaries' health care costs when they became ill or injured. Congress has broadened Medicare coverage over time to include specific preventive services, su...