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Investigators: Medicare pays more for off-the-shelf back braces
Modern Healthcare

You can find it on the Internet for $250 or less. But if Medicare is paying, a standard-issue brace for back patients costs more than $900. In a report expected Wednesday, federal investigators say Medicare paid an average of $919 for back braces that cost suppliers $191 apiece, providing a window on how wasteful spending drives up health care costs. “The program and its beneficiaries could have paid millions of dollars less if the Medicare reimbursement amount… more closely resembled the cost to suppliers,” says the report from the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department. The Associated Press obtained a copy.

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