GAO Raises Concerns About Spending On New Medicare Programs

The government may be duplicating efforts under several programs and paying for the same services to test new payment and treatment delivery models, a study finds.

Medscape: CMS Duplicating Efforts To Test New Programs, GAO Study Says
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may be duplicating efforts and paying for the same services under multiple programs to test new payment and treatment delivery models, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a recent report. Better coordination among the programs is needed to prevent the inefficient use of federal resources, GAO said. The CMS Innovation Center became operational in November 2010, 8 months after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The agency received 10 times the federal funding ($10 billion through 2019) for research, demonstrations, and evaluations than had been appropriated in the previous decade. It also hired 184 new employees (Crane, 12/20.

Also in news on the health law, a federal court denied a request from a religious employer for an injunction to stop administration rules requiring contraception coverage --

The Hill: Hobby Lobby Denied Relief From Obama Birth Control Rules
A federal appeals court denied Hobby Lobby's request for a preliminary injunction against President Obama's birth control coverage rules. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Christian-run arts-and-crafts chain must comply with the policy as its case proceeds. The decision is the latest setback in Hobby Lobby's case against the Obama administration (Viebeck, 12/20)

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