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Medicare's bill for artificial feet is questioned

Las Vegas Sun / Associated Press, February 16, 2012

It doesn't compute: Medicare's bill for artificial feet has jumped by more than half, although foot and leg amputations due to diabetes continue to decline dramatically. Medicare paid $94 million for artificial feet in 2010, according to research conducted for The Associated Press. That was nearly $35 million more than in 2005, even though in 2010, Medicare covered about 1,900 fewer such prostheses. It works out to a 58 percent cost increase over five years. Medicare "is aware of and shares the concerns this research raises about lower limb prosthetics," said spokesman Brian Cook.