Vacuum devices found much cheaper online — Are taxpayers getting the shaft?
The report by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services stated that Medicare — the federal government health insurance system for senior citizens — paid close to 474,000 claims for vacuum erection systems (VES), totaling roughly $172.4 million from 2006 to 2011. Moreover, to found that Medicare payments for the devices remain “grossly excessive,” or more than twice as much as the Department of Veterans Affairs and consumers on the Internet pay.
Annual claims for the devices — each of which costs the government about $360 — nearly doubled from $20.6 million in 2006 to $38.6 million in 2011, the report said.
Penis pumps are among the few viable treatment courses for erectile dysfunction, or ED, a condition that affects as many as 30 million American men, according to the National Institutes of Health.