Medicare wastes billions on defective medical devices, audit finds
Medicare’s fiscal watchdog has documented $1.5 billion in spending on seven types of defective heart devices that doctors implanted in thousands of beneficiaries.
In addition to the money Medicare paid to health care providers for services and procedures related to recalls or premature device failures, the patients who got the defective devices paid an estimated $140 million in deductibles and coinsurance costs from their own pockets, according to a report that U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson published Tuesday.
The three companies that manufactured the seven devices have yet to be identified by investigators. Their examination, which has been underway for about a year, resonates in Minnesota, home to cardiac divisions of the world’s largest heart-device makers: Medtronic PLC, St. Jude Medical Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp.