Tag Archives: GAO

GAO Calls for Tighter Medicaid Fraud Controls

A recent GAO review of Medicaid claims in four selected states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey) discovered that thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries and hundreds of providers were involved in potentially improper or fraudulent payments during FY 2011. Such potentially improper payments involved, among other things, beneficiaries concurrently receiving benefits paid by two or more … Continue Reading

GAO Criticizes Medicare Physician Payment Ratesetting Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report pointing out potential shortcomings in the data and process used by CMS to establish the relative values (and consequently the reimbursement levels) for Medicare physician services. In particular, the GAO expresses concern that the American Medical Association/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) process for … Continue Reading

GAO Report on Oversight of Medicaid Payments to Hospitals

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled “Medicaid: CMS Oversight of Provider Payments Is Hampered by Limited Data and Unclear Policy.”  The report examines how state Medicaid payments to government hospitals compare to those made to private hospitals in selected states (Illinois, New York, and California) and CMS oversight of such payments. … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Tighter Reins on Section 1115 Demonstrations

A recent GAO report examined expenditure authorities in “section 1115” demonstrations approved by HHS between June 2012 and October 2013. Section 1115 of the Social Security Act gives HHS broad authority to approve “expenditure authorities” that allow states to receive federal funds for costs that would not otherwise be matchable under Medicaid if the Secretary … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Changes to Medicare Payments to PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospitals

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Medicare: Payment Methods for Certain Cancer Hospitals Should Be Revised to Promote Efficiency,” examines the Medicare reimbursement methodology for cancer hospitals exempt from the acute inpatient prospective payment systems (PPS). The GAO determined that Medicare payments were substantially higher at PPS-exempt cancer hospitals (PCHs) in 2012 than at … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Expanded HHS Efforts to Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Community Settings

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining the extent to which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed for older adults with dementia in nursing homes and other settings. The GAO found that, according to Medicare Part D data, about one-third of older adults with dementia who spent more than 100 days in a nursing … Continue Reading

GAO Seeks Stronger CMS Measurement of State Medicaid Program Integrity System Effectiveness

Based on a review of 10 state Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) used to process claims and support program integrity efforts, the GAO has concluded that the effectiveness of these systems is not known because CMS does not require states to measure results related to detecting and preventing improper payments. The GAO therefore recommends that … Continue Reading

GAO Evaluates CMS Activities to Prepare Health Industry for ICD-10 Launch

According to a recent GAO report, CMS has taken numerous steps to prepare industry for the October 1, 2015 transition to ICD-10 codes, such as developing checklists, timelines, and other educational materials and hosting training sessions for Medicare providers. CMS also has monitored covered entity and vendor readiness through stakeholder collaboration meetings, focus group testing, … Continue Reading

GAO Highlights Medicare Program Risks and Recommends Program Integrity Actions

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its latest update to its “High-Risk Series” reports, which again lists Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because of the program’s substantial size and scope, and its wide-ranging effects on beneficiaries, the health care industry, and the U.S. economy. The latest report highlights five areas of particular … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Geographic Variation in Private Payer Spending on High-Cost Procedures

On January 28, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled “Private Health Insurance: Geographic Variation in Spending for Certain High-Cost Procedures Driven by Inpatient Prices.” In the report, the GAO examines: (1) how spending per episode of care for certain high-cost procedures varies across geographic areas for private payers, and (2) how … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Hospital Reporting of GPO Fees

The GAO has issued a report, "Group Purchasing Organizations: Funding Structure has Potential Implications for Medicare Costs,” that examines the effects of group purchasing organization (GPO) contracting practices and their funding structure. The five GPOs in GAO’s review reported being predominately funded by administrative fees collected from vendors (totaling $2.3 billion in 2012), which were almost always … Continue Reading

GAO Catalogues CMS Medicare Part D Program Integrity Practices

A recent GAO report, “Medicare Program Integrity: CMS Pursues Many Practices to Address Prescription Drug Fraud, Waste, and Abuse,” lists current and planned CMS prevention, detection, and monitoring policies intended to promote program integrity in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. The report does not include new recommendations.… Continue Reading

GAO Calls on CMS to Improve Transparency of Health Care Cost, Quality Data

The GAO recently examined the effectiveness of health cost and quality transparency tools available to consumers, including two private consumer health cost/quality websites and CMS “Compare” databases. The GAO determined that the CMS tools — Nursing Home Compare, Dialysis Facility Compare, Home Health Compare, Hospital Compare and Physician Compare — are limited in their provision … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Improvements to Healthcare.gov Information Security and Privacy Controls

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has assessed the effectiveness of CMS controls intended to protect the security and privacy of the information and information technology (IT) systems used to support Healthcare.gov. The GAO determined that while CMS has taken steps to protect Healthcare.gov security and privacy, “weaknesses remain both in the processes used for managing … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Improvements to Medicare Contractor Postpayment Review Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report entitled “Medicare Program Integrity: Increased Oversight and Guidance Could Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency of Postpayment Claims Reviews."  In the report, the GAO assesses CMS policies and procedures to prevent certain Medicare contractors (Medicare Administrative Contractors, Zone Program Integrity Contractors, Recovery Auditors, and the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing … Continue Reading

OIG, GAO Reports Focus on Healthcare.gov Operations

The OIG has issued two reports on implementation of the ACA health insurance “Marketplaces.” The first report, “Marketplaces Faced Early Challenges Resolving Inconsistencies with Applicant Data,” looked at the extent to which the federal and state health insurance marketplaces ensured the accuracy of information submitted by insurance applicants, including information related to eligibility for premium … Continue Reading

GAO Highlights Differences in Federal Program Drug Prices

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released data comparing retail prescription drug prices paid by the Department of Defense (DOD), Medicaid, and Medicare Part D for a sample of 78 high-utilization/high-expenditure drugs. In general, the GAO determined that Medicaid paid the lowest average net prices for both brand-name and generic drugs in the sample based … Continue Reading

GAO Assesses Trends in Medicare Physical Therapy Self-Referrals

The GAO recently examined “self-referral” for outpatient physical therapy (PT) services, which the GAO defines as a provider referring patients to entities in which the provider or the provider’s family members have a financial interest. According to the GAO, non-self-referred PT services per 1,000 Medicare FFS beneficiaries increased by 41% from 2004 to 2010, while the … Continue Reading

GAO Reviews Financial Characteristics of Applicants for Medicaid Nursing Home Coverage

The GAO has issued a report entitled “Medicaid: Financial Characteristics of Approved Applicants and Methods Used to Reduce Assets to Qualify for Nursing Home Coverage.”  The report highlights ways applicants in Florida, New York, and South Carolina reduce their countable assets to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, including (1) spending countable resources on goods … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Greater Medicaid Managed Care Program Integrity Efforts

A recent GAO report, “Medicaid Program Integrity: Increased Oversight Needed to Ensure Integrity of Growing Managed Care Expenditures," identified gaps in both state and federal Medicaid managed care program integrity efforts. For instance, based on a review of Medicaid activities in seven states, the GAO found that five state program integrity units and four Medicaid Fraud Control … Continue Reading

GAO Offers Recommendations for Improvements to CMS Physician Feedback Efforts

A recent GAO report looked at how private health care entities provide performance data to physicians, and how such practices could be used to improve CMS efforts to provide feedback to providers. The GAO determined that the nine health insurers and statewide collaboratives it reviewed typically employ multiple benchmarks (e.g., peer group averages or past … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Impact of Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation on Medicare Beneficiary Access

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued its second statutorily-mandated report regarding implementation of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) accreditation requirement for Medicare suppliers that furnish the technical component of advanced diagnostic imaging (ADI) services. The first report assessed CMS’s standards for ADI accreditation and the agency’s oversight of … Continue Reading

OIG, GAO Reports Examine Round 1 Rebid of the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program

On April 8, 2014, the OIG and GAO each issued reports focusing on different aspects of the “Round 1 Rebid” of the Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program. By way of background, under DMEPOS competitive bidding, only suppliers that are winning bidders, meet licensing and other standards, and enter … Continue Reading
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