Medicare is paying more than twice as much for men’s vacuum erection systems as other payers pay.
Investigators at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) have published that finding in a new report.
Medicare covers pump purchases because the pumps treat impotence, and impotence is a failure of a body part, officials say.
The officials report that Medicare spent $172 million on 473,620 pump claims from 2006 through 2011.
The number of pump claims increased to 103,448 in 2011, from 61,589 in 2006. The average Medicare payment was $361, and the average enrollee co-payment was $90.