Patient care services (1 - 10 of 72 items)
Veterans' Health Care: Improved Oversight of Community Care Physicians' Credentials Needed
GAO-16-795: Published: Sep 19, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2016.
GAO found that the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) contractors—Health Net Federal Services (Health Net) and TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest)—complied with contractual requirements to verify the credentials of physicians under one community care program, but were deficient in doing so under another program. Based on GAO's review of selected physicians, GAO found that the contractors a...
Rare Diseases: Too Early to Gauge Effectiveness of FDA's Pediatric Voucher Program
GAO-16-319: Published: Mar 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2016.
It is too early to gauge whether the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) pediatric voucher program has stimulated the development of drugs to treat or prevent rare pediatric diseases. Given that the typical drug development process often exceeds a decade, insufficient time has elapsed to determine whether the 3 year-old program has been effective. Any drug sponsors motivated by the program to att...
Patient Safety: Hospitals Face Challenges Implementing Evidence-Based Practices
GAO-16-308: Published: Feb 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2016.
The six selected hospitals in GAO's study identified three key challenges that affected their efforts to implement evidence-based patient safety practices. Patient safety practices, such as using proper antiseptics, can reduce or eliminate adverse events, which GAO defined as events such as infections that harm patients and result from the medical care patients receive rather than patients' underl...
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...
Electronic Health Records: Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability
GAO-15-817: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2015.
Representatives from the 18 nonfederal initiatives GAO reviewed described a variety of efforts they are undertaking to achieve or facilitate electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, but most of these initiatives remain works in progress. EHR interoperability is the ability of systems to exchange electronic health information with other systems and process the information without special ef...
Medicare Advantage: Actions Needed to Enhance CMS Oversight of Provider Network Adequacy
GAO-15-710: Published: Aug 31, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 2015.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for overseeing the Medicare Advantage (MA) program—Medicare's private plan alternative. Since 2011, CMS has defined an adequate MA provider network as meeting two criteria: a minimum number of providers and maximum travel time and distance to those providers. To r...
Medicare: Results from the First Two Years of the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model
GAO-15-401: Published: Apr 22, 2015. Publicly Released: May 22, 2015.
Health care providers and suppliers voluntarily form accountable care organizations (ACO) to provide coordinated care to patients with the goal of reducing spending while improving quality. Within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) began testing the Pioneer ACO Model in 2012. Under this model, ACOs can earn additional Medicare p...
International Classification of Diseases: CMS's Efforts to Prepare for the New Version of the Disease and Procedure Codes
GAO-15-255: Published: Jan 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2015.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has undertaken a number of efforts to prepare for the October 1, 2015, transition to the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes, which are used for documenting patient medical diagnoses and inpatient medical procedures. CMS has developed educational ma...
Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers
GAO-15-11: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014.
Results obtained from two selected private consumer transparency tools GAO reviewed—websites with health cost or quality information comparing different health care providers—show that some providers are paid thousands of dollars more than others for the same service in the same geographic area, regardless of the quality of such services. For example, the cost for maternity care at selected ac...
Compounded Drugs: Payment Practices Vary across Public Programs and Private Insurers, and Medicare Part B Policy Should Be Clarified
GAO-15-85: Published: Oct 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2014.
Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurers have varying payment practices for compounded drugs, depending upon whether compounded drugs and their ingredients can be identified on health insurance claims, and Medicare's Part B payment policy for these drugs is unclear.For drugs dispensed in pharmacy settings, claims contain sufficient information for public programs and private insurers to ide...