Health insurance (11 - 20 of 65 items)
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Competition and Other Factors Linked to Wide Variation in Health Care Prices
GAO-05-856: Published: Aug 15, 2005. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2005.
Congress is concerned about the health care spending burden facing the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the largest private health insurance program in the country. Health care spending per person varies geographically, and the underlying causes for the spending variation have not been fully explored. Understanding market forces and other factors that may influence health care sp...
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: CMS Needs a Plan for Updating Practice Expense Component
GAO-05-60: Published: Dec 13, 2004. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 2004.
Medicare's payments for the costs physicians incur in operating their practices are based on two sets of estimates: total practice expenses and resource estimates for individual services. Total practice expense estimates were derived from American Medical Association (AMA) physician surveys, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) refines with supplemental data submitted by medica...
Medicare Physician Payments: Concerns about Spending Target System Prompt Interest in Considering Reforms
GAO-05-85: Published: Oct 8, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2004.
Concerns were raised about the current system Medicare uses to determine annual changes to physician fees--the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system--when fees were reduced by 5.4 percent in 2002. Subsequent administrative and legislative actions modified or overrode the SGR system, resulting in fee increases for 2003, 2004, and 2005. However, projected fee reductions for 2006-2012 have raised new...
Medicare Preventive Services: Most Beneficiaries Receive Some but Not All Recommended Services
GAO-04-1004T: Published: Sep 21, 2004. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2004.
Preventive care depends on identifying health risks and on taking steps to control these risks. In contrast, Medicare, the federal health program insuring almost 35 million beneficiaries age 65 or older, was established largely to help pay beneficiaries' health care costs when they became ill or injured. Congress has broadened Medicare coverage over time to include specific preventive services, su...
Milwaukee Health Care Spending Compared to Other Metropolitan Areas: Geographic Variation in Spending for Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
GAO-04-1000R: Published: Aug 18, 2004. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 2004.
Health care spending varies across the country due to differences in the use and price of health care services. Understanding the reasons for utilization and price variation may contribute to developing methods to control health care spending. This report provides preliminary results from our work on geographic variations in health care spending and prices. Congress asked us to examine geographic...
Medicare Provider Enrollment: Opportunities to Enhance Program Integrity Efforts
GAO-03-185: Published: Mar 17, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2003.
Staffing companies that contract with physicians to staff hospital departments--including emergency departments--are not permitted to bill Medicare. In the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000, Congress directed GAO to assess the program integrity implications of enrolling these companies and allowing them to bill Medicare. GAO reviewed about 2.8 million em...
VA Health Care: Third-Party Collections Rising as VA Continues to Address Problems in Its Collections Operations
GAO-03-145: Published: Jan 31, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2003.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collects health insurance payments, known as third-party collections, for veterans' health care conditions it treats that are not a result of injuries or illnesses incurred or aggravated during military service. In September 1999, VA adopted a new fee schedule, called "reasonable charges," that it anticipated would increase revenues from third-party collecti...
Medicare Hospital and Physician Payments: Geographic Cost Adjustments Important to Preserve Beneficiary Access to Services
GAO-02-968T: Published: Jul 23, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2002.
This testimony discusses Medicare program payment adjustments to hospitals and physicians that account for geographic differences in costs. Because Medicare's hospital and physician payment systems are based on national rates, these geographic cost adjustments are essential to account for costs beyond providers' control and to ensure that beneficiaries have adequate access to services. If these ad...
Medicare: Recent CMS Reforms Address Carrier Scrutiny of Physicians' Claims for Payment
GAO-02-693: Published: May 28, 2002. Publicly Released: May 28, 2002.
In 1990, GAO designated the Medicare program to be at high-risk for waste, fraud, and abuse. More than a decade later, Medicare remains on GAO's high-risk list. This report examines Medicare's claims review process, which is designed to detect improper billing or payments. GAO found that most physicians who bill Medicare are largely unaffected by carriers' medical reviews, with 90 percent of physi...
Medicare: Communications with Physicians Can Be Improved
GAO-02-249: Published: Feb 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2002.
Unlike other federal programs that make expenditures under the direct control of the government, Medicare constitutes a promise to pay for covered medical services provided to its beneficiaries by about one million providers. Given this open-ended entitlement, it is essential that appropriate and effective rules and policies be specified so that only necessary services are provided and reimbursed...