Health care cost control (11 - 20 of 97 items)
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 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...
Milwaukee Health Care Spending Compared to Other Metropolitan Areas: Geographic Variation in Spending for Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
GAO-04-1000R: Published: Aug 18, 2004. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 2004.
Health care spending varies across the country due to differences in the use and price of health care services. Understanding the reasons for utilization and price variation may contribute to developing methods to control health care spending. This report provides preliminary results from our work on geographic variations in health care spending and prices. Congress asked us to examine geographic...
Comptroller General's Forum on Health Care: Unsustainable Trends Necessitate Comprehensive and Fundamental Reforms to Control Spending and Improve Value
GAO-04-793SP: Published: May 1, 2004. Publicly Released: May 1, 2004.
Unrelenting growth in health care spending has put pressure on policymakers to seek health care system reforms. The stress comes partly from a wide gap in expectations between what health care Americans want and what the nation can afford and sustain. GAO's Health Care Forum was held on January 13, 2004, to find ways to elevate the nation's understanding of health care cost, access, and quality ch...
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 Outpatient Drugs: Program Payments Should Better Reflect Market Prices
GAO-02-531T: Published: Mar 14, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2002.
In some cases, Medicare pays significantly more for covered outpatient drugs than the actual costs to the physicians and pharmacy suppliers. Attempts to reduce these payments have been met with provider claims that overpayments for the drugs are needed to cover underpayments for administering or delivering them. Medicare's method for establishing drug payments is flawed. Medicare pays 95 percent o...
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...
Defense Health Care: Across-the-Board Physician Rate Increases Would be Costly and Unnecessary
GAO-01-620: Published: May 24, 2001. Publicly Released: May 24, 2001.
This report describes the financial and management impact of increasing physician reimbursement rates in TRICARE -- the military's managed health care program. GAO found that changing the TRICARE reimbursement rate nationally to the 70th percentile of billed charges would be costly, inflationary, and largely unnecessary. Such an increase could cost the Defense Department (DOD) and its beneficiarie...
Medical Devices: Reprocessing and Reuse of Devices Labeled Single-Use
T-HEHS-00-143: Published: Jun 27, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the reprocessing and reuse of medical devices marketed for single use, focusing on: (1) the extent of single-use devices (SUD) reprocessing; (2) the health risks associated with SUD reprocessing; (3) the cost savings from SUD reprocessing; and (4) the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) oversight of SUD reprocessing.GAO noted that: (1) it is clea...
Single-Use Medical Devices: Little Available Evidence of Harm From Reuse, but Oversight Warranted
HEHS-00-123: Published: Jun 20, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the practice of single-use device (SUD) reprocessing in the United States, focusing on the: (1) extent of SUD reprocessing; (2) health risks associated SUD with reprocessing; (3) cost savings from reprocessing; and (4) Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) oversight of SUD reprocessing.GAO noted that: (1) while some health care institutions have cho...