Health care costs (31 - 40 of 286 items)
End-Stage Renal Disease: CMS Should Monitor Effect of Bundled Payment on Home Dialysis Utilization Rates
GAO-09-537: Published: May 22, 2009. Publicly Released: May 22, 2009.
Medicare covers dialysis--a process that removes excess fluids and toxins from the bloodstream--for most individuals with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a condition of permanent kidney failure. Most patients with ESRD receive dialysis in a facility, while some patients with ESRD are trained to self-perform dialysis in their homes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--the agency tha...
Nonprescription Drugs: Considerations Regarding a Behind-the-Counter Drug Class
GAO-09-245: Published: Feb 20, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2009.
In the United States, most nonprescription drugs are available over-the-counter (OTC) in pharmacies and other stores. Experts have suggested that drug availability could be increased by establishing an additional class of nonprescription drugs that would be held behind the counter (BTC) but would require the intervention of a pharmacist before being dispensed; a similar class of drugs exists in ma...
Medicare Advantage: Characteristics, Financial Risks, and Disenrollment Rates of Beneficiaries in Private Fee-for-Service Plans
GAO-09-25: Published: Dec 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 2008.
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are an alternative to the original Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program. Private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans--one type of MA plan--give beneficiaries an option that is more like Medicare FFS than other MA plans, with a wider choice of providers and less plan management of services and providers. PFFS enrollment increased from about 35,000 beneficiaries in June 2004...
Medicare Advantage Organizations: Actual Expenses and Profits Compared to Projections for 2006
GAO-09-132R: Published: Dec 8, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2008.
The federal government's spending on the Medicare Advantage (MA) program has grown substantially in recent years, from approximately $60 billion in 2006 and $77 billion in 2007 to an estimated $91 billion in 2008. MA organizations provide health care coverage to Medicare beneficiaries through private health plans, thus offering an alternative to the original Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program...
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage: Federal Oversight of Reported Price Concessions Data
GAO-08-1074R: Published: Sep 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2008.
To help Medicare beneficiaries manage the rising cost of prescription drugs, Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), which established the outpatient prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D. The benefit was first available in January 2006, and that year it provided federally subsidized prescription drug coverage for nearly 28 mil...
Nonprofit Hospitals: Variation in Standards and Guidance Limits Comparison of How Hospitals Meet Community Benefit Requirements
GAO-08-880: Published: Sep 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2008.
Nonprofit hospitals qualify for federal tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they meet certain requirements. Since 1969, IRS has not specified that these hospitals have to provide charity care to meet these requirements, so long as they engage in activities that benefit the community. Many of these activities are intended to benefit the approximately 47 million uninsured indivi...
Medicare: Trends in Fees, Utilization, and Expenditures for Imaging Services before and after Implementation of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
GAO-08-1102R: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
Rapid spending growth for Medicare Part B--which covers physician and other outpatient services--has heightened concerns about the long-range fiscal sustainability of Medicare. Medicare Part B expenditures are expected to increase over the next decade at an average annual rate of about 8 percent, which is faster than the projected 4.8 percent annual growth rate in the national economy over this ti...
Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy: Assets and Income Are Both Important in Subsidy Denials, and Access to State and Manufacturer Drug Programs Is Uneven
GAO-08-824: Published: Sep 5, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2008.
To help defray the cost of prescription drugs for beneficiaries with limited means, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) included the low-income subsidy (LIS) in the Part D prescription drug insurance program. To qualify for the LIS, beneficiaries must be enrolled in a Part D plan and their assets and income must be less than the thresholds established b...
Medicare: Covert Testing Exposes Weaknesses in the Durable Medical Equipment Supplier Screening Process
GAO-08-955: Published: Jul 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2008.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), schemes to defraud the Medicare program have grown more elaborate in recent years. In particular, HHS has acknowledged Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's (CMS) oversight of suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) is inadequate to prevent fraud and abuse. Specifically, weaknesses in...
Hurricane Katrina: Trends in the Operating Results of Five Hospitals in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina
GAO-08-681R: Published: Jul 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2008.
New Orleans faces many challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including the challenge of reestablishing the health care system and hospitals within the system. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, and the subsequent flooding caused by the failure of the New Orleans levee systems, resulted in the sudden closure, damage, or disruption in services at many of the New Or...