Money Smart / Consumer Confidential

Consumer Confidential: Wasteful Medicare Spending Drives Up Costs

A federal report released Wednesday showed the Medicare system is plagued by large amounts of wasteful spending.

A standard back brace that costs $99.99 on the internet, for example, costs Medicare more than $900, according to the report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The health care system is estimated to squander some $750 billion a year, or one-third of its total expenditures, in wasteful spending, fraud and care that isn’t needed.

Medicare responded to the report by saying it will consider incorporating more competitive bidding for medical equipment.