Medicare (61 - 70 of 214 items)
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...
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...
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...
Medicare: Geographic Areas Used to Adjust Physician Payments for Variation in Practice Costs Should Be Revised
GAO-07-466: Published: Jun 29, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2007.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adjusts Medicare physician fees for geographic differences in the costs of operating a medical practice. CMS uses 89 physician payment localities among which fees are adjusted. Concerns have been raised that the boundaries of some payment localities do not accurately address variations in physicians' costs. GAO was asked to examine how CMS has rev...
Medicare Ultrasound Procedures: Consideration of Payment Reforms and Technician Qualification Requirements
GAO-07-734: Published: Jun 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2007.
Medicare spending on imaging services, among which are ultrasound procedures that use sound waves to facilitate diagnosis, nearly doubled from 1999 to 2004. The Congress required GAO to examine Medicare's payment methods for ultrasound procedures and whether the technicians that conduct them--called sonographers--should be subject to qualification standards, such as having to undergo a certificati...
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: Thousands of Medicare Part B Providers Abuse the Federal Tax System
GAO-07-587T: Published: Mar 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 2007.
Under the Medicare program, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its contractors paid a reported $330 billion in Medicare benefits in calendar year 2005. Because GAO previously identified government contractors with billions of dollars in unpaid federal taxes, Congress requested that we expand our work in this area to all Medicare providers. This testimony addresses Medicare physi...
Medicare Spending: Preliminary Findings Regarding an Approach Focusing on Physician Practice Patterns to Foster Program Efficiency
GAO-07-567T: Published: Mar 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2007.
Medicare's current system of spending targets used to moderate spending growth for physician services and annually update physician fees is problematic. This spending target system--called the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--adjusts physician fees based on the extent to which actual spending aligns with specified targets. In recent years, because spending has exceeded the targets, the system...