Defense Health Programs: Savings Available by Using Two Medicare Cost-Containment Techniques.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUMAN RESOURCES DIV
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We have completed a survey to determine if the Civilian Health and Medical Porgram of the Uniformed Services CHAMPUS could better contain costs for professional services by adopting two cost containment techniques used by the Medicare program a fee schedule for outpatient laboratory services and an economic index for physician services. After analyzing payment records for five states, we estimate that CHAMPUS could have saved 2.3 million, or 2.4 percent of the professional service costs spent in those states, if these two techniques had been in effect during the 6-month period October 1984 through March 1985. Adopting these techniques would increase somewhat the amount paid by many families using CHAMPUS-an average of 2.4 per family for laboratory services and an average of 2.85 per family for physician services for the 6-month period. When dependents of active duty personnel, retirees, and dependents of retired and decreased members seek outpatient medical care, they can either 1 receive the care at no cost at a military hospital or clinic or 2 go to a private health care provider and be reimbursed under CHAMPUS.
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