Category Archives: Health Care

Getting Closure on Our Recommendations

Last year, we blogged about why agencies implement GAO’s recommendations. Looking at our annual Performance and Accountability Report, you can see that we’ve averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average 80% implementation rate between fiscal years 2010-2015. This adds … Continue reading

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Making the Difficult Decisions about End-of-Life Care

Planning for your future isn’t just about saving for retirement. Thinking ahead about end-of-life care, uncomfortable as it may be, can help avoid difficult situations later—for both you and your loved ones. For example, if you’re incapacitated, do you want all … Continue reading

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Checking Up on the Quality of Nursing Homes (podcast)

Across the country, the nearly 16,000 nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are home to almost 1.5 million people. These nursing homes must meet certain quality standards. To monitor that, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reviews … Continue reading

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Women’s Health and Clinical Trials

Biological differences between women and men sometimes lead drugs, diseases, and treatments to affect them differently. Women make up over half the U.S. population; so why don’t we know more about how they respond to medical treatments? Today’s WatchBlog explores … Continue reading

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Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care (podcast)

The number of veterans receiving mental health care services from the Veterans Health Administration grew 63% between 2005 and 2013—about three times the rate for all health services. How has the increased demand affected veterans’ access to care? Listen to … Continue reading

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Federal Efforts to Help People with Mental Illness

Some 10 million Americans suffer from serious mental illness. We focused on services for them in a previous WatchBlog post, but they are part of a bigger picture: about 43 million adults—roughly 1 in 5—live with some form of mental health … Continue reading

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Resolving Technical Difficulties with State Health Insurance Marketplaces

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, marketplace websites were supposed to let people seamlessly enroll in private health insurance plans and apply for premium subsidies. But these state-based websites and their underlying and related systems were far from … Continue reading

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When Self-Reporting Fails, Fraud Prevails

Nearly 2 million doctors, nurses, medical equipment suppliers, and other health care providers participate in Medicare, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To get paid for their services to Medicare beneficiaries, providers must first tell CMS about themselves, … Continue reading

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Preventing Suicide among Veterans

An estimated 18 to 22 veterans die by suicide every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s almost one veteran every hour. For National Suicide Prevention Month, we’re taking a closer look at VA efforts to prevent veteran suicides. Reaching … Continue reading

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Our Prescriptions for Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs are generally safe when taken as directed, but they can also be abused. Moreover, some people try to use their insurance to pay for prescriptions they shouldn’t be getting. Read on for our look at how two federal … Continue reading

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