Health care services (31 - 40 of 174 items)
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...
Primary Care Professionals: Recent Supply Trends, Projections, and Valuation of Services
GAO-08-472T: Published: Feb 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2008.
Most of the funding for programs under title VII of the Public Health Service Act goes toward primary care medicine and dentistry training and increasing medical student diversity. Despite a longstanding objective of title VII to increase the total supply of primary care professionals, health care marketplace signals suggest an undervaluing of primary care medicine, creating a concern about the fu...
End-of-Life Care: Key Components Provided by Programs in Four States
GAO-08-66: Published: Dec 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2008.
Approximately 28 percent of all Medicare spending in 1999 was used to provide care for beneficiaries in the last year of their lives. The Medicare hospice benefit is specifically designed for end-of-life care but is an elected benefit for individuals who have a terminal diagnosis with a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course. GAO was asked to identify examples of progr...
VA Health Care: Improvements Made in Physician Privileging Policies, but Medical Facility Compliance Has Not Been Assessed
GAO-08-271T: Published: Nov 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2007.
In a report issued in May 2006, GAO examined compliance with the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) physician credentialing and privileging requirements at seven VA medical facilities GAO visited. VA's credentialing process is used to determine whether a physician's professional credentials, such as licensure, are valid and meet VA's requirements for employment. VA's privileging process is used...
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 Payments: Medicare and Private Payment Differences for Anesthesia Services
GAO-07-463: Published: Jul 27, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 2007.
In 2005 Medicare paid over $1.4 billion for anesthesia services. These services are generally provided by anesthesia practitioners, such as anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). A government-sponsored study found that Medicare payments for anesthesia services are lower than private payments. Congress is concerned that this difference may create regional discrepanci...
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: 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 Physician Payments: Trends in Service Utilization, Spending, and Fees Prompt Consideration of Alternative Payment Approaches
GAO-06-1008T: Published: Jul 25, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2006.
In 2002, the system Medicare uses to determine annual changes to physician fees--the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--reduced fees by almost 5 percent. Subsequent administrative and legislative actions averted fee declines in 2003 through 2006. Absent additional actions, fee reductions are projected for 2007 through 2015. Consequently, the appropriateness of the SGR system has been questioned...