Data Bank Unlikely to Increase Collections From Other Insurers

T-HEHS-94-162: Published: May 6, 1994. Publicly Released: May 6, 1994.

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GAO discussed the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) efforts to develop the Medicare and Medicaid data bank. GAO noted that: (1) although Medicare and Medicaid programs could realize substantial savings if they had more complete information on their participants' group health insurance coverage, the data bank may not significantly strengthen existing information gathering operations; (2) over the next 5 years, the data bank will likely increase costs, create an unnecessary administrative burden for HCFA and employers, and increase the nation's total health care costs without accruing significant benefits; (3) the data bank's usefulness is questionable because it may not provide states with adequate or timely information so that they can pursue recoveries; (4) HCFA needs to focus its resources and efforts on strengthening its eligibility determinations and improving existing alternatives to the data bank; and (5) Congress should grant HCFA additional authority to impose penalties on states that do not comply with Medicaid requirements.

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