Medicare spends $1.5B on defective devices — 4 things to know

Spinal Tech

An HSS Inspector report found Medicare spent nearly $1.5 billion on seven types of defective heart devices, according to Star Tribune.

Investigators subpoenaed drug manufacturers to obtain lists of Medicare patients who received the devices. They then evaluated more than 72,000 beneficiaries' medical records.

Here are four things to know:


1. The report found physicians implanted these defective devices in thousands of Medicare beneficiaries.


2. Patients who received such devices paid an estimated $140 million in both deductibles and coinsurance costs.


3. Investigators have not yet identified the three companies that manufactured the defective devices.


4. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are supporting a proposal that would mandate hospitals and physicians to include a medical device's tracking code on claims forms. Sen. Grassley said in a statement, "There's a physical cost and a financial cost to patients when medical devices fail, and a big expense to taxpayers, as well. It makes sense to track medical devices on claims forms so flawed devices can be taken out of use and patients and taxpayers can be better protected.


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