What Is Durable Medical Equipment?
Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that is reusable and for home use, such as wheelchairs and walkers. Medicare Part B will cover DME if the following conditions are met:
- The equipment is prescribed by a doctor or practitioner.
- The equipment is used for a medical purpose.
- The equipment is used in a home setting.
Examples of Durable Medical Equipment
The following are examples of DME. This is not an all-inclusive list.
- Hospital beds
- Infusion supplies
- Oxygen equipment
- Patient lifts
- Blood sugar monitors
A long-term care facility is included in the definition of a home setting.
The following are not included in the definition of a home setting:
- Skilled nursing facility
Shopping for Durable Medical Equipment
For those who use Original Medicare, use the following guidelines when looking for DME.
- The supplier needs to be enrolled in the Medicare program.
- The supplier needs be participating, which means that they will accept the Medicare-approved cost. This will ensure you the lowest possible cost.
- Medicare-participating suppliers can be found at the Medicare.gov Supplier Directory.
- Some areas use Medicare's Competitive Bidding Program. If you live in one of these areas, the supplier must be contracted by Medicare. To find out if you live in one of these areas and to learn more about the program, visit Medicare.gov.
Medicare Advantage and DME
Medicare Advantage plans cover all expenses that Original Medicare covers and often extends those benefits. The coverage does vary from plan to plan. To determine what DME expenses your Medicare Advantage plan covers, contact your plan directly.
For further questions on Medicare and DME, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or 1-877-486-2048 (TTY users). Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.