Health care programs (81 - 90 of 195 items)
Medicare Dialysis Facilities: Beneficiary Access Stable and Problems in Payment System Being Addressed
GAO-04-450: Published: Jun 25, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2004.
Medicare covers about 90 percent of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the permanent loss of kidney function. Most ESRD patients receive regular hemodialysis treatments, a process that removes toxins from the blood, at a dialysis facility. A small percentage dialyzes-at home. From 1991 through 2001, the ESRD patient population more than doubled, from about 201,000 to 406,000. As the nee...
Medicare Home Health: Payments to Most Freestanding Home Health Agencies More Than Cover Their Costs
GAO-04-359: Published: Feb 27, 2004. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2004.
Under Medicare's home health prospective payment system (PPS), home health agencies (HHA) are paid a fixed amount, adjusted for differences in individual patients' expected care needs, for providing an episode (up to 60 days) of care. For this payment, HHAs provide therapy, skilled nursing, medical social service, and aide visits to patients in their homes. GAO previously reported that PPS payment...
Medicaid Nursing Home Payments: States' Payment Rates Largely Unaffected by Recent Fiscal Pressures
GAO-04-143: Published: Oct 17, 2003. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 2003.
Almost half of all Americans over the age of 65 will rely on nursing home care at some point in their lives, and two in three nursing home residents have their care covered at least in part by Medicaid. Under Medicaid, states set nursing home payment rates and the federal government reimburses a share of state spending. According to the most recently available data, Medicaid nursing home expenditu...
Medicare: Discrepancy in Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Methodology Leads to Inaccurate Beneficiary Copayments and Medicate Payments
GAO-04-103R: Published: Oct 6, 2003. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2003.
Under the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS), beneficiaries can be responsible for paying 50 percent or more of the total payment for outpatient services they receive in hospitals. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) introduced a mechanism to gradually decrease beneficiary cost sharing to 20 percent of the payment rate for each hospital outpatient service. The Centers...
Ambulance Services: Medicare Payments Can Be Better Targeted to Trips in Less Densely Populated Rural Areas
GAO-03-986: Published: Sep 19, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2003.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented a Medicare ambulance fee schedule in which providers are paid a base payment per trip plus a mileage payment. An adjustment is made to the mileage rate for rural trips to account for higher costs. CMS has stated that this rural adjustment may not sufficiently target providers serving sparsely populated rural areas. The Medicar...
Medicare: Modest Eligibility Expansion for Critical Access Hospital Program Should Be Considered
GAO-03-948: Published: Sep 19, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2003.
Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are small rural hospitals that receive payment for their reasonable costs of providing inpatient and outpatient services to Medicare beneficiaries, rather than being paid fixed amounts under Medicare's prospective payment systems. Between fiscal years 1997 and 2002, 681 hospitals have become CAHs. In the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protect...
Prescription Drug Discount Cards: Savings Depend on Pharmacy and Type of Card Used
GAO-03-912: Published: Sep 3, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2003.
While prescription drugs have become an increasingly important part of health care for the elderly, more than one-quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries have no prescription drug coverage. Over the past decade, private companies and not-for-profit organizations have sponsored prescription drug discount cards that offer discounts from the prices the elderly would otherwise have to pay for their pres...
Medicare Home Health Payment: Nonroutine Medical Supply Data Needed to Assess Payment Adjustments
GAO-03-878: Published: Aug 15, 2003. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2003.
Under Medicare's prospective payment system (PPS), home health agencies receive a single payment, adjusted to reflect the care needs of different types of patients, for providing up to 60 days of home health care. Some home health industry representatives have suggested that certain nonroutine medical supplies (such as wound-care dressings) should be excluded from this payment and reimbursed separ...
Medicaid Formula: Differences in Funding Ability among States Often Are Widened
GAO-03-620: Published: Jul 10, 2003. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2003.
A primary goal in establishing Medicaid's statutory formula, whereby states with lower per capita incomes (PCI) receive higher rates of federal reimbursement for program costs, was to narrow differences among states in their ability to fund Medicaid services. States' ability to fund services depends on their financial resources in relation to their number of and costs to serve people in poverty. G...
Long-Term Care: Federal Oversight of Growing Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waivers Should Be Strengthened
GAO-03-576: Published: Jun 20, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2003.
Home and community-based settings have become a growing part of states' Medicaid long-term care programs, serving as an alternative to care in institutional settings, such as nursing homes. To cover such services, however, states often obtain waivers from certain federal statutory requirements. GAO was asked to review (1) trends in states' use of Medicaid home and community-based service (HCBS) wa...