Penis Pump Medicare Billing Fraud Scheme Deflated

Several Miami businessman were indicted for fraudulently billing Medicare for penis pumps. In one instance, the company billed Medicare for four different penis pumps for one female patient. “That,” said a Medicare spokesman, “we should have caught.”

The defendants are accused of stealing patient records and then submitting almost $2 million in bogus claims, exploiting how Medicare pays bills without first verifying them.

Pumps for impotence used in alleged scam [azcentral]

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  1. PanCake BuTT says:

    What a limp ending to this story. Bummer! (That’s what she said)

  2. Rocket says:

    I swear it’s not mine.

  3. Hoot says:

    Penis pumps can legitimately be billed to Medicare? I was under the impression that they were completely ineffective and more of a way to milk money out of desperate men (Ha!).

    • craptastico says:

      i agree. it seems they think the only problem is that they were prescribed to a women. i don’t see how they should be covered under any circumstances. unless this kind of waste is eliminated, national healthcare will never work

      • DariusC says:

        Penis pumps help with erectile dysfunction. They do not get you bigger permanently (though temporary results happen).

        • dadelus says:

          While I feel for folks who are suffering from ED I would have to say that Gov’t assitance should be reserved for lifesaving care. Not quality of life care. Sorry you can’t get it up fella, but if you want the pump so badly, save up for it and buy one yourself.

          • DariusC says:

            What about those who have crooked or non-functioning ones? The military pays for that surgury, why not medicare? Point is, lack of sex/masturbation can definitely hurt your physical health. Of course the older people shouldn’t be knocking boots anyways, but ED happens to young people too!

            • Hoot says:

              There needs to be some burden of proof that the problem significantly affects your well-being. Most men I’ve seen are somewhat crooked, but if it’s at a right angle and it aches, that probably means your doctor can verify that you should receive some help. Or if you’ve become clinically depressed because of the lack of release, that would also be able to be verified by a medical professional.

              I would assume that many prescriptions and penis pumps paid for by Medicare are to those who have dreams of plowing their way through the ladies at the senior center and their doctors just don’t care. If your pipes have just not aged well, pay for it yourself.

            • dadelus says:

              Understood, my point still stands though. If you need a penis pump, go buy one on your own dime. From a quick google search they range in price from $75-$360 so it’s not like they pare prohibatively expensive even for someone on a restricted income.

              If ED is affecting your life so profoundly, then cut back somewhere over the course of several months and buy one yourself. It’s reusable, it’s not like they have to buy a new one every month.

          • evnmorlo says:

            The majority of medical treatments are not “life-saving”. If feel-good tablets like anti-depressants are covered, penis pumps definitely should be.

          • GameHen says:

            Breast implants are not medically necessary for breast cancer survivors either, but would you argue that they shouldn’t be covered? Sometimes these seemingly superficial procedures are necessary for an individuals’ mental health and well-being.

        • craptastico says:

          hard ons are not medically necessary.

        • Hoot says:

          I always thought they were for size primarily. Perhaps I’ve been to too many porn stores.

          I guess a $350 penis pump is probably more cost effective than years of Viagra.

          But I have to agree with craptastico, this is no way a medical need and should not come out of tax money. Save up and buy a pump yourself! They’re not THAT expensive.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        No, this is not waste. This is a criminal activity. Waste would be if the Medicare offices in Florida installed gold-plated toilets or went on “educational” trips to Bermuda on the taxpayer dime.

        • DariusC says:

          That is also criminal (An assinine). Waste is like buying anything more than what the minimum needs are. THAT is waste.

        • craptastico says:

          this is criminal, but the fact that Medicare covers limp dick at all, is waste. if someone’s having trouble with erections, they should have to pay for it out of pocket, not with government money.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            I disagree. Please enumerate the illnesses you want the government to stop paying to treat. Here I’ll start:
            Mental illness – “It’s all in their heads”
            Obesity – “Stop eating so much and start exercising”
            Diabetes – “See obesity”
            Heart problems – “See obesity”
            Birth control surgery – “Just say ‘No’ to sex”
            Lung cancer – “Nobody forced you to smoke”
            Car accident – “Learn to drive defensively”
            Motorcycle accident – “You wore a helmet and now a burden on society”
            HIV/AIDS – [redacted]
            Lets stop treating the old, they are a burden.
            Lets stop treating the poor, they are a burden.
            Lets stop treating illegal aliens, they are a burden.
            Lets stop treating the rich, they can afford it.
            Lets stop treating any disease or condition that offends my morals and anybody who doesn’t live in a double-wide like me.

            I’ll let you finish.

            • Hoot says:

              None of that serious stuff is going to get treated at all unless there’s cutbacks somewhere, greater efficiency, etc. Why can’t penis pumps of debatable effectiveness be on the chop list?

              Also, who the hell was talking about morals? Impotence sucks whether you’re Amish or you’re a member of Hells Angels! Your argument is insane. Perhaps you need a day off. Cuts need to happen somewhere and limits must be placed. If impotence doesn’t directly affect your health, pay for it yourself.

              • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

                Please don’t use “chop” and “penis” in the same sentence.

              • Echo5Joker says:

                I think you’re missing the sarcasm in the post about not paying for things that offend morals.

                You should also add to that list things that don’t make money for drug companies. I’ve heard research on new antibiotics is at a crawl now because drug companies are more interested in treating “conditions” rather than diseases, hence all the psych and cholesterol drug ads on TV these days. And why cure AIDS and cancer when people can just take a pill every day and live with it? Healthy people don’t take pills. People “living with conditions” take lots of pills.

            • ShadowFalls says:

              “Car accident – “Learn to drive defensively”

              Screw that! Drive offensively! My car is equipped with a mounted machine gun and dual rocket launchers! And if I run out of ammo, there is always the steel spikes on the bumpers.

            • craptastico says:

              my list pretty much begins and ends with limp-dick, which the PC crowd has renamed ED. if Medicare will cover a penis pump, then why not a hooker?

    • banmojo says:

      do some research online. penis pumps are an effective treatment for some cases of impotency, and quality of life is greatly increased when impotency is effectively treated, so yes, it is covered.

  4. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Meanwhile – people on actual Medicare are dying from lack of funds and red tape. Say, what?

  5. chaesar says:
  6. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    “That, we should have caught.”

    Laughed for like a minute. I support software for a living. It’s my new tag line. My users will just have to wonder why I laugh like a madwoman whenever they complain about some enhancement they want to the software and I flip that one out. That line, I mean.

  7. INsano says:

    Whether or not this should have been discovered before all just depends on the length of the fraud.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      Disagree. Penis pumps for a female patient should have been caught regardless of the length of time the fraud covered.

  8. JMP says:

    Kind of off topic, but don’t Charlie RX and Happy Trips sound more like head shops than health care facilities? Who would go to see a doctor at Happy Trips!?

  9. haggis for the soul says:

    When I saw 22 comments, I expected 22 penis puns. You guys are letting me down.

  10. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    They only paid $28.6K before arresting these four clowns. It will cost more than that just to jail one of these guys, each year. Although not perfect, it looks like fraud detection and prosecution is working. Yet, there is room for improvement. My mother doesn’t have a tooth in her head but she kept getting paperwork showing the clinic was billing the government for all kinds of dentistry. She reported it to the government multiple times and they keep paying. The clinic started paying her a kickback to try to shut her up. It’s the only clinic in the county that takes MediCare/Cal (and is staffed by mostly transsexuals).

  11. RxDude says:

    They must have been hard up for cash.

  12. jim says:

    eh, good story, but hardly a dent in the $6 billion dollar business of phony medicare billing.
    get a storefront, license, phone, purchase a list of ssn’s and start selling medical devices.
    collect 4 to 5k a day for 30 days then close up shop and move to a new location.

  13. packcamera says:

    Well, that just sucks…

  14. waltja26 says:

    Love the accompanying picture. But I have to say it… And you people want the government to control ALL of our health care ?!?

    • Conformist138 says:

      Compared to insurance companies being willing to drop my friend during his 3rd bout with bone cancer thus forcing him to work full-time during chemo to maintain benefits (or, you know, just die), this gov mistake is almost lovably silly.

    • Echo5Joker says:

      This isn’t really the government’s fault though, it’s the criminal’s fault. The government machinery was just doing what it is supposed to do, paying claims and trying to help out people that got left behind by the glorious health care system you seem to prefer.

      So yeah, I’d rather have the government in charge of my health care…they did catch them after all.

  15. TasteyCat says:

    As of 2014, everything will be fine. Healthcare is fixed.

  16. banmojo says:

    This story illustrates well how CMS is broken, yet so many of you are happy nObama wants the feds to get further into the relationship between you and your MD. Leaves me flabbergasted. Do you REALLY think the feds should take over making all your important decisions for you? ie. how you invest for your retirement, how you educate your children, who you choose to take care of your health, etc etc? And libbies want taxes RAISED on those who actually help stimulate this failing economy? Again, flabbergasted.

  17. loueloui says:

    See kids this is the reason why, no matter how good it sounds, we cannot have universal healthcare. Multiply this by about 50,000 and that is the current state of Medicare/Medicaid in South Florida. Many of the scammers, some who have operated for YEARS, had no legitamate patients.

    It’s been speculated that the amount of fraudulent claims billed to Medicare/Medicaid in South Florida is equal to or more than the legitimate claims. I mean WTF already. Save some money and investigate everyone in South Florida.