Senate chides Medicare for $70M in over-payments for medtech | On Call

March 29, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

Members of the Senate's Finance Committee lambaste Medicare over a largely unrecoverable $70 million sum of over-payments for durable medical equipment.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medicare has lost about $70 million in unrecoverable sums overpaid to makers of durable medical devices, according to a Health & Human Services Dept. report, and the Senate's Finance Committee isn't too pleased.

A bipartisan coalition from the committee chastised Medicare regulators for allowing million of dollars to "go to waste without a serious effort to recover it," according to a a statement from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

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The funds went to durable healthcare products such as wheelchairs and hospital beds, Healthwatch reported, and just a small portion of the over-payments have been recovered, despite a federal mandate requiring manufacturers to carry bonds to help repay over-payments.

Device makers are only required to carry $50,000 in "surety bonds," but many of the suppliers cited in the HHS report either had no bonds or didn't have sufficient bonds to cover what sometimes amounted to millions in over-payments to a single manufacturer, according to the news service.