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Private Health Insurance: In Most States and New Exchanges, Enrollees Continued to be Concentrated among Few Issuers in 2014 [Reissued on February 14, 2017]
GAO-16-724: Published: Sep 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2016.
GAO found that enrollment in private health insurance plans remained concentrated among a small number of issuers in most states in 2014, including in the newly established exchanges. On average in each state and the District of Columbia, 11 or more issuers participated in each of three types of markets—individual, small group, and large group—from 2011 through 2014. However, in most states, t...
VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Ensure Medical Facility Controlled Substance Inspection Programs Meet Agency Requirements
GAO-17-242: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
GAO found weaknesses in the way four selected Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities were implementing their controlled substance inspection programs. Two of the four did not conduct monthly inspections of controlled substances as required by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). For example, one facility missed 43 percent of monthly inspections in critical patient care areas a...
Medicaid: CMS Needs Better Data to Monitor the Provision of and Spending on Personal Care Services
GAO-17-169: Published: Jan 12, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2017.
Two data systems managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the federal agency that oversees Medicaid—collect information from states on the provision of and spending on personal care services:The Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) collects detailed information from provider claims on services rendered to individual Medicaid beneficiaries and state payments for t...
Defense Civil Support: DOD, HHS, and DHS Should Use Existing Coordination Mechanisms to Improve Their Pandemic Preparedness
GAO-17-150: Published: Feb 10, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2017.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has developed guidance and plans to direct its efforts to provide assistance in support of civil authorities—in particular the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Homeland Security (DHS)—in the event of a domestic outbreak of a pandemic disease. For example, the Department of Defense Global Campaign Plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Dise...
Medicaid Managed Care: Improved Oversight Needed of Payment Rates for Long-Term Services and Supports
GAO-17-145: Published: Jan 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 2017.
Out of six states with Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs that GAO selected for review, five set clear financial incentives in their payment rates for managed care organizations (MCO) to provide care in the community versus in an institution. However, most of the selected states did not opt to link payments or penalties to MCO performance on MLTSS goals. These goals,...
Medical Devices: Cancer Risk Led FDA to Warn Against Certain Uses of Power Morcellators and Recommend New Labeling
GAO-17-231: Published: Feb 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 2017.
Between 1991 and 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the federal agency responsible for the oversight of medical devices—cleared 25 submissions for laparoscopic power morcellators for the U.S. market. FDA cleared the submissions for these devices, which cut tissue into small pieces to facilitate removal through small incision sites of gynecological and other types of minimally invasiv...
Foster Care: HHS Has Taken Steps to Support States' Oversight of Psychotropic Medications, but Additional Assistance Could Further Collaboration
GAO-17-129: Published: Jan 5, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2017.
State child welfare and Medicaid officials in seven selected states reported a variety of practices to support the appropriate use of psychotropic medications, which affect mood, thought, or behavior, for children in foster care. Practices include screening for mental health conditions, developing prescription guidelines, and monitoring a child's health while on medication. Additional state effort...
Medicaid: Program Oversight Hampered by Data Challenges, Underscoring Need for Continued Improvements
GAO-17-173: Published: Jan 6, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2017.
GAO found that available Medicaid expenditure and utilization data do not provide CMS with sufficient information to consistently ensure that payments are proper or that beneficiaries have access to covered services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicaid program, relies on two key data s...
Medicaid: CMS Has Taken Steps, but Further Efforts Are Needed to Control Improper Payments
GAO-17-386T: Published: Jan 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2017.
GAO's prior work has identified four Medicaid program integrity issues—where the program is vulnerable to improper payments such as those made for services that were not covered, were not medically necessary, or were not provided—as well as actions taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address the issues and additional actions that should be taken.Enrollment Verificati...
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Concentration, Plan Availability and Premiums, and Enrollee Experiences in Health Insurance Markets Since 2014
GAO-17-383T: Published: Jan 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2017.
GAO issued three reports in 2015 and 2016 on the early impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on private health insurance markets.Market ConcentrationIn a 2016 report, GAO examined enrollment in private health-insurance plans in the years leading up to and through 2014, the first year of the exchanges established by PPACA, and found that in all years analyzed, markets wer...