Heavy price: Medicare overpaying for back braces

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

A new report says Medicare has been paying more than $900 for a standard-type back brace you can find on the Internet for $250 or less.

In a report to be released Wednesday, investigators say Medicare paid an average of $919 for back braces that cost suppliers $191 apiece, a window on how wasteful spending drives up .

The at the federal Health and Human Services Department says and its beneficiaries could have saved millions of dollars if what the program paid more closely reflected the cost to suppliers.

A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators decided to take a look after costs for the back braces went up $60 million in just a few years.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Agency: Medicare refills strong drugs despite law

Sep 27, 2012

(AP)—A government inspector's report says Medicare routinely refilled pain pills and other medications that are barred by federal law from being renewed without a fresh prescription.

New Medicare fraud detection system saves $115 mil

Dec 14, 2012

A highly touted new system designed to stop fraudulent Medicare payments before they are paid has saved about $115 million and spurred more than 500 investigations since it was launched in 2011.

Recommended for you

Testosterone testing has increased in recent years

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—There has been a recent increase in the rate of testosterone testing, with more testing seen in men with comorbidities associated with hypogonadism, according to research published online Nov. ...

AMA: Hospital staff should consider impact of CMS rule

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—Hospital medical staff members need to consider the impact of a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that revised the conditions of participation for hospitals ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.