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Health Care (131 - 140 of 4,926 items)
Medicare Part B: Expenditures for New Drugs Concentrated among a Few Drugs, and Most Were Costly for Beneficiaries
GAO-16-12: Published: Oct 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2015.
New Medicare Part B drugs were more likely than new drugs not paid under Part B to be biologics, that is, products derived from living sources; be approved to treat a narrower range of conditions; and to have used a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program to expedite their development and review. Sixty-one percent of the 83 new Part B drugs approved by FDA from 2006 through 2013 were biologics,...
End-Stage Renal Disease: Medicare Payment Refinements Could Promote Increased Use of Home Dialysis
GAO-16-125: Published: Oct 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2015.
The percentage of dialysis patients who received home dialysis generally declined between 1988 and 2008 and then slightly increased thereafter through 2012, and stakeholder estimates suggest that future increases in the use of home dialysis are possible. Dialysis patients can receive treatments at home or in a facility. In 1988, 16 percent of 104,200 dialysis patients received home dialysis. Home...
Climate Change: HHS Could Take Further Steps to Enhance Understanding of Public Health Risks
GAO-16-122: Published: Oct 5, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 2015.
Federal agencies are enhancing understanding of climate-related risks to public health by (1) supporting and conducting research, (2) providing data and informational resources, and (3) communicating about risks. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports a portfolio of research directly related to these risks. NIH reports awarding about $6 mi...
Medicaid: Improving Transparency and Accountability of Supplemental Payments and State Financing Methods
GAO-16-195T: Published: Nov 3, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 2015.
GAO has found that complete and reliable data are lacking on the tens of billions in Medicaid supplemental payments states often make, hindering transparency and oversight. In a November 2012 report, GAO found that Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have acted to improve transparency and accountability for one type of Medicaid supplemental payment known as disproportio...
VA Health Care: Oversight Improvements Needed for Nurse Recruitment and Retention Initiatives
GAO-15-794: Published: Sep 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2015.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has multiple system-wide initiatives to recruit and retain its nurse workforce, but three of the four VA medical centers in GAO's review faced challenges offering them. VHA identified a number of key initiatives it offers to help medical centers recruit and retain nurses, which focus primarily on providing (1) education...
Workers' Compensation: Health Benefit Programs for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and for Employees of U.S. Agency for International Development Contractors
GAO-16-28R: Published: Oct 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2015.
Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) both provide health benefits through workers' compensation programs. Peace Corps provides benefits to returned Peace Corps volunteers who sustain illnesses or injuries connected to their Peace Corps service under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) program administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). USAID provides...
Medical Devices: FDA Ordered Postmarket Studies to Better Understand Safety Issues, and Many Studies Are Ongoing
GAO-15-815: Published: Sep 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2015.
Fifty-six percent of the 313 medical device postapproval studies—studies that are ordered at the time of device approval—the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered from January 1, 2007, through February 23, 2015, were for cardiovascular devices and most were making adequate progress. Postapproval studies are ordered to obtain additional information not available before devices are marketed...
VA Mental Health: Action Needed to Improve Access Policies and Wait-Time Data
GAO-16-170T: Published: Oct 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2015.
The way in which the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) calculates veteran mental health wait times may not always reflect the overall amount of time a veteran waits for care. VHA uses a veteran’s preferred date (determined when an appointment is scheduled) to calculate the wait time for that patient’s full mental health evaluation, the primary entry po...
VA Mental Health: Clearer Guidance on Access Policies and Wait-Time Data Needed
GAO-16-24: Published: Oct 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2015.
The way in which the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) calculates veteran mental health wait times may not always reflect the overall amount of time a veteran waits for care. VHA uses a veteran's preferred date (determined when an appointment is scheduled) to calculate the wait time for that patient's full mental health evaluation, the primary entry point fo...
Electronic Health Records: VA and DOD Need to Establish Goals and Metrics for Their Interoperability Efforts
GAO-16-184T: Published: Oct 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2015.
As GAO reported in August 2015, the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD), with guidance from the Interagency Program Office (IPO) tasked with facilitating the departments' efforts to share health information, have taken actions to increase interoperability between their existing electronic health record systems. These actions have included work on near-term objectives such as sta...