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Government spent $172M on penis pumps

Government spent $172M on penis pumps

(NEWSER– Between 2006 and 2011, Medicare spent $172 million on penis pumps, according to a report out yesterday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. That figure is outrageous for a reason other than that you might think. As NBC Newsreports, penis pumps, more properly known as vacuum erection systems, are actually one of the "few viable treatment courses" for men with erectile dysfunction, per the National Institutes of Health. So it's not the coverage of the item for some 474,000 men over those six years that's the problem, but the amount that was spent: Each claim cost Medicare an average $361—more than double what the pump would have cost if the user just bought it online. (And OIG verified this by ... Googling. It reports that "research on 22 different Web sites yielded pricing information for 105 VES ... the average Internet price ... was $164.74.")

Read the full story on Newser.com

   
 

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