Determining Cost-Effectiveness of Home and Community-Based Services Gao ID: HRD-87-61 April 28, 1987

GAO reviewed states' reports on Medicaid home- and community-based service (HCBS) programs to determine whether the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was collecting accurate and useful information on HCBS programs. HCFA collects the data to ensure that the cost of Medicaid HCBS programs does not exceed the estimated cost of providing nursing home care to HCBS recipients.

GAO found that: (1) HCFA believed that the majority of state reports were neither accurate nor useful for assessing cost-effectiveness; (2) HCFA gave states inconsistent guidance on reporting HCBS costs; (3) states varied in their interpretations of Medicaid requirements; and (4) HCFA attributed problems to its delays in specifying reporting requirements and to states' problems with HCFA guidance and with systems and procedures development. GAO also found that HCFA: (1) revised the HCBS reporting requirements in 1986; (2) believes that the new data will be more accurate and useful; and (3) will evaluate the systems states use to produce their reports. In addition, GAO found that HCFA: (1) needs to evaluate more than comparative costs, because HCBS programs sometimes supplement, rather than replace, Medicaid nursing home care; and (2) does not know the extent to which HCBS programs replace, or merely supplement Medicaid nursing home care.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Team: Phone:

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.