Health care services (41 - 50 of 175 items)
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...
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...
Specialty Hospitals: Information on Potential New Facilities
GAO-05-647R: Published: May 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2005.
Beginning in the 1990s, there was a substantial increase in the number of short-term acute care hospitals that primarily treat patients with specific medical conditions or who need surgical procedures. Advocates of such hospitals, commonly referred to as specialty hospitals, contend that their focused missions and dedicated resources can both improve quality and reduce health care costs. Critics c...
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 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...
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...
Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care
GAO-03-836: Published: Aug 8, 2003. Publicly Released: Aug 29, 2003.
The recent rising cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums in many states has reportedly influenced some physicians to move or close practices, reduce high-risk services, or alter their practices to preclude potential lawsuits (known as defensive medicine practices). States have revised tort laws under which malpractice lawsuits are litigated to help constrain malpractice premium and claims...