Category Archives: Health Care

Medicare’s Financial Check-Up (video)

Nearly 60 million elderly and disabled people count on Medicare for health care coverage. Without the program, they and their families could be responsible for billions of dollars of health care costs. Medicare spent about $700 billion in 2017 and … Continue reading

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A Multi-Front Effort on Substance Abuse

As drug overdose deaths have grown to unprecedented levels in America, federal efforts have attempted to combat the substance abuse problem on multiple fronts. Programs and new laws have addressed everything from keeping tabs on Medicare opioid prescriptions to gathering … Continue reading

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Asking the Right Questions: How Many Medicare Participants Are At Risk of Harm from Prescription Opioids?

Over 14 million Medicare participants received opioid prescriptions in 2016—which cost the government over $4 billion. Because of the recent increase in opioid overdoses, Medicare monitors participants that might be overutilizing opioids. However, we found that there are more Medicare … Continue reading

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Improving Federal Administration of Programs that Serve the American Indian Population

For nearly a decade, we’ve reported that federal agencies have ineffectively administered Indian health care, education, and energy resource development programs. This year we added the agencies responsible for these programs to our High Risk List—which discuss the federal agencies … Continue reading

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The Health and Welfare of the Nation’s Children (podcast & infographic)

The long-term success of the nation depends in large part on how well families and society care for children. Our recent report looked at more than 20 indicators to get a picture of the state of children’s well-being. We found … Continue reading

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Doctor’s Orders: More Training in Primary Care

It’s almost that time of year when tens of thousands of medical students gear up to apply for residency programs. These residency programs, also known as graduate medical education (think early seasons of Grey’s Anatomy), are the pipelines for our … Continue reading

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Online Access to Your Health Records

Have you checked out your health records online lately? On average, health care providers who participated in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program offered access to almost 90% of their patients—but less than 1/3 of those patients used it. … Continue reading

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Information Technology and Veterans Affairs

Avid readers of the WatchBlog have seen some of our many posts on veterans’ access to health care and other support services, such as disability payments. Despite years of attempts to correct ongoing problems with health care and disability benefits, … Continue reading

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“It was 50 years ago today…”

On June 1, 1967, the Beatles released their album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the United States. It revolutionized modern music and helped usher in the Summer of Love. In honor of this musical and cultural milestone, the … Continue reading

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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and Food Animals (podcast)

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a growing global health threat, sickening an estimated 2 million people each year in the United States alone. Evidence suggests that antibiotic use in food animals (cattle, poultry, and swine) causes some of this antibiotic resistance. Although … Continue reading

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