Medicare and consumers pay for faulty heart devices

A heart device is every bit as important as it sounds. Any patient with one of these relies on it to improve his or her heart health, which is imperative to living a better life.

Unfortunately, a report from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) shows that Medicare has paid out more than $1.5 billion over the past 10 years to replace faulty heart devices in approximately 73,000 patients.

While Medicare has taken on a large portion of the cost, some of the expense have trickled down to the consumer. The report also shows that out-of-pocket expenses for recalls reached $140 million during the same 10-year period.

The report touches on the costs associated with recalls of seven of the most commonly used heart devices, including defibrillators and pacemakers.

What's the problem?

No one wants to hear that there could be an issue with their heart device, but this may be the case. For example, past recalls have been ordered for everything from fragmented wiring to dying batteries.

One of the biggest examples of a faulty heart device came out in late 2016 when St. Jude Medical informed doctors of a defective battery that was installed in hundreds of thousands of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators.

As a patient, you hope that your heart device does its job. Unfortunately, you know that this may not be the case.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a faulty medical device, such as one that is meant to improve your heart health, you should learn more about your legal rights.

Source: Healthline, "Faulty Heart Devices Costly for Medicare, Consumers," accessed Nov. 14, 2017

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