Health care programs (41 - 50 of 104 items)
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...
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: First-Year Experience with High-Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts
GAO-06-271: Published: Jan 31, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 2006.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) recently began offering high-deductible health plans (HDHP) coupled with tax-advantaged health savings accounts (HSA) that enrollees use to pay for health care. Unused HSA balances may accumulate for future use, providing enrollees an incentive to purchase health care prudently. The plans also provide decision support tools to help enrollees ma...
Physician Services: Concierge Care Characteristics and Considerations for Medicare
GAO-05-929: Published: Aug 12, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 2005.
Concierge care is an approach to medical practice in which physicians charge their patients a membership fee in return for enhanced services or amenities. The recent emergence of concierge care has prompted federal concern about how the approach might affect beneficiaries of Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the aged and some disabled individuals. Concerns include the potential th...
Medicare Physician Payments: Considerations for Reforming the Sustainable Growth Rate System
GAO-05-326T: Published: Feb 10, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2005.
Concerns were raised about the system Medicare uses to determine annual changes to physician fees--the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--when it reduced physician fees by almost 5 percent in 2002. Subsequent administrative and legislative actions modified or overrode the SGR system to avert fee declines in 2003, 2004, and 2005. However, projected fee reductions for 2006 to 2012 have raised new...
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 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...
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...
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...