John Bruce, Scripps Howard News Service
July 11, 2012 -- According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, annual spending on penis pumps has gone up from $7.2 million in 2000 to more than $36 million last year.
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This is so absurd on so many levels, I almost do not know where to begin. first of all, an erection is NOT usually something that is necessary for "life to go on". While sex is fun, it is not quite the same as eating or breathing. All of these "treatments", using that word loosely, should be paid for by ther person who want it. Viagra or a vacuum pump is NOT like medication for heart disease or an Oxygen setup.
Secondly, most of us in the medical field said that fraud would run rampant when the feds first started all this national health manure: codifying everything to be run by relatively few people for hundreds of millions of others. You cannot successfully monitor a system that large very well. I assure you that all fraud found so far represents a tiny fraction of the whole problem in all of health care. Now all you have to do is match up the proper codes (CPT and ICD for example) and some dumb computer will spit out a check. The few thousand people working in this area cannot possibly detail check the millions of bills sent in each month.
That being said, it amazes me that so many Americans still believe in a federal bureaucracy that would take over all of health care in this country. That would be the biggest disaster ever. Look at all the Medicare and Medicaid fraud now and those two programs only represent a part of the total insurance business.
drj: What kind of doctor are you? Do you accept Medicaid and Medicare?
samkat: while I was in family practice (retired last year), I accepted both of those, not because of the great reimbursements from them, but because my patients needed care and that was their insurance. Many years ago, I provided very cheap, or even free, medical care for those who truly could not afford it. I would estimate that about 10% of my care was free and I made house calls as well. With the advent of all the government regs, that became impossible because of the money involved and the paperwork. When my partner and I started, we had 1 girl doing the billing. When we retired, partly being fed up, we had 5 girls doing the same work.
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