Health care cost control (1 - 10 of 97 items) in Custom Date Range
Medicare: Increasing Hospital-Physician Consolidation Highlights Need for Payment Reform
GAO-16-189: Published: Dec 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 2015.
Vertical consolidation is a financial arrangement that occurs when a hospital acquires a physician practice and/or hires physicians to work as salaried employees. The number of vertically consolidated hospitals and physicians increased from 2007 through 2013. Specifically, the number of vertically consolidated hospitals increased from about 1,400 to 1,700, while the number of vertically consolidat...
Indian Health Service: Capping Payment Rates for Nonhospital Services Could Save Millions of Dollars for Contract Health Services
GAO-13-272: Published: Apr 11, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2013.
The Indian Health Service's (IHS) federal contract health services (CHS) programs primarily paid physicians at their billed charges, which were significantly higher than what Medicare and private insurers would have paid for the same services. IHS's policy states that federal CHS programs should purchase services from contracted providers at negotiated, reduced rates. However, of the almost $63 mi...
Preventive Health Activities: Available Information on Federal Spending, Cost Savings, and International Comparisons Has Limitations
GAO-13-49: Published: Dec 6, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 2013.
The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Defense (DOD) administer programs that include preventive health activities such as health screenings and education campaigns, but the departments reported that they do not track department-wide spending on these activities. Departments reported that determining such spending is challenging because these activities can...
Medicare Physician Feedback Program: CMS Faces Challenges with Methodology and Distribution of Physician Reports
GAO-11-720: Published: Aug 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 2011.
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a program to give physicians confidential feedback on the resources used to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries. In response, HHS's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established and implemented the Physician Feedback Program by distribut...
Private Health Insurance: Research on Competition in the Insurance Industry
GAO-09-864R: Published: Jul 31, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2009.
Health care providers and members of Congress have raised concerns that consolidation in the private health insurance industry may be resulting in less competitive markets and contributing to rising health insurance rates paid by consumers and employers. However, measuring the extent of changes in market competition over time or the effects of changes is challenging. In particular, reliable, longi...
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...
Medicare Physician Payment: Care Coordination Programs Used in Demonstration Show Promise, but Wider Use of Payment Approach May Be Limited
GAO-08-65: Published: Feb 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2008.
Congress mandated in 2000 that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct the Physician Group Practice (PGP) Demonstration to test a hybrid payment methodology for physician groups that combines Medicare fee-for-service payments with new incentive payments. The 10 participants, with 200 or more physicians each, may earn annual bonus incentive payments by achieving cost savings and...
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...
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...