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Durable medical equipment (DME)

There are many things that can help people live their lives more easily. In some cases, these things are simply beneficial to have to help make life easier. In other cases, these items are medically necessary for a person to function and live their lives. People who cannot get up from their bed, as an example, will benefit from a lift chair in many cases. If they meet the requirements for this piece of durable medical equipment, their Medicare plan may cover it. Other items can include walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches.


What Is Durable Medical Equipment (DME)


Durable medical equipment is equipment that is reusable. In order to be covered by Medicare, the equipment will need to be durable, used for medical purposes, not generally useful for people who are not hurt or sick, and need to be used in your home. The equipment can be used other places as well, but if you are currently residing in a hospital or nursing home that is providing you with care that is covered by Medicare, the facility will not be considered your home. A long-term care facility, however, can in some cases qualify as your home.


Medicare DME Coverage Includes


Many medical equipment items are reusable, as well as necessary for many people. Those who have Medicare Part B insurance coverage are pleased to know that certain medically necessary equipment pieces are covered under their plan. A physician or practitioner will need to prescribe it in order for it to be covered, and it will need to be prescribed for use in your home, though it could also be used other places as well. This can include a wide variety of items, including the ones listed here.


Items that can be included in Durable Medical Equipment coverage, also called DME, include things like blood sugar monitors, blood sugar test strips, canes, continuous passive motion devices, CPAP devices, hospital beds, infusion pumps, electric wheelchairs, scooters, chairlifts, oxygen equipment, suction pumps, and pressure reducing beds, among other things. In addition, traction equipment, nebulizers, and other items can be covered.


Remember that some durable medical equipment providers will allow you to rent the equipment you are looking to purchase in order to determine if it fits your needs. In some cases, you may need to rent the equipment rather than purchase it. Other times, you may need to purchase the equipment. A third option for this is also available, which is where the buyer can decide for themselves whether to rent the equipment or to purchase it.


Where Can I Get Durable Medical Equipment?


In order to get durable medical equipment, you will need to use a supplier that is enrolled in the Medicare program.; Medicare will not pay for costs for suppliers that are not Medicare-approved. Take a look at a supplier directory in order to find participating providers. It is possible for suppliers to be enrolled in Medicare, but not participating. If a supplier is not participating, but is enrolled in Medicare, they can choose whether or not they accept the assignment. If they choose not to accept the assignment, there is no limit to what they can charge you for the equipment. In this case, it is often a good idea to research and find participating suppliers rather than pay the increased cost.


In some areas, Medicare Competitive Bidding Programs exist. If this is the case, you will need to purchase your equipment from suppliers Medicare has contracted.


Keep in mind that Medicare Advantage plans can vary in costs in comparison to Original Medicare. If you are in need of Durable Medical Equipment, you will need to contact your plan provider directly to find out if the equipment you are looking to get is covered, as well as how much you will need to pay for it.