- Cost of health care are higher in the United States than in other countries and put a strain on the overall economy. Health care is paid for by government programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid), private health insurance plans (usually through employers), and the person’s own funds (out-of-pocket).
- The US government funds two kinds of health plans. This is through Medicare and Medicaid. They are especially designed for the elderly, disabled, poor and young. However, many Americans have their health care paid for by their employers. It’s often included as a fringe benefit in job packages.
WHAT IS DME? (DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT)
- Any equipment that provides therapeutic benefits to a member because of certain medical conditions and/or illnesses that can withstand repeated use, is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, and is appropriate for use in the home.
- Examples of DME’s are washcloth, B-cream, Diapers, wheelchairs (manual and electric), hospital beds, traction equipment, canes, crutches, walkers, kidney machines, ventilators, oxygen, monitors, pressure mattresses, lifts, nebulizers, incontinence supplies, wound care products,etc.
WHAT DME IS COVERED BY MEDICARE?
- Medicare Part B covers DMEs your doctor prescribes for use in your home. Only your doctor can prescribe medical equipment for you. DME meets these criteria:
- Durable (can withstand repeated use)
- Used for a medical reason
- Not usually useful to someone who isn’t sick or injured
- Used in your home
- Has an expected lifetime of at least 3 years
- DME that Medicare covers includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Air-liquidized beds and other support surfaces (only rented)
- Hospital beds
- Blood sugar (glucose) test strips
- Commode chairs
- Oxygen equipment
- Suction pumps