What Is Considered Durable Medical Equipment?

Many people, including the elderly or disabled, rely on a variety of medical equipment for home use to manage their daily care and basic personal needs. Some of the equipment is considered disposable, such as gloves, blood testing strips, catheters, and incontinence products, which are used once and then discarded.

The other primary type of medical equipment for home use is called durable medical equipment (DME), which consists of long-term reusable devices that provide therapeutic benefits. For insurance purposes, it’s important to know what qualifies as durable medical equipment. For more information, here’s a brief guide:

What qualifies as durable medical equipment?

Many private and government insurance plans will only cover some or all of the expenses for durable medical equipment if the equipment meets specific protocol. To qualify, the equipment must primarily serve a medical purpose—only useful to patients with an injury or disability—and it must be prescribed by a licensed medical provider. It must also be appropriate for home use and designed for long-term use.  Examples of durable medical equipment include:

  • Mobility aids, such as walkers, crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and scooters
  • Personal care items including toilet risers, bed rails, and bath stools
  • Hospital beds, lift beds, and lift chairs
  • Prostheses and orthotics
  • Oxygen concentrators, monitors, and related supplies
  • Traction equipment

How to obtain durable medical equipment and supplies

Obtaining durable medical equipment depends on the patient’s situation. For people recently discharged from a hospital or those undergoing physical therapy following an injury, the hospital or rehabilitation facility can facilitate the acquisition of whichever equipment the patient needs. If a home care aide is needed during the recovery period, he or she can arrange for the supplies to be ordered and delivered. For people who find themselves in need of durable medical equipment without recent surgery or injury, their physician can help determine which items are needed and write a prescription. Depending on insurance coverage, you might need to use specific vendors to qualify for full or partial reimbursement. Medicare in particular has its own list of suppliers in order to simplify the claim process.

Where can I find durable medical equipment near me?

If you are not limited by a specific supplier list, you can find durable medical equipment providers through a recommendation from your physician or physical therapist, or through an online search. You might need to limit your search based on whether you need to rent or buy equipment, as not all suppliers offer both options. At Avondale HME, we offer durable medical equipment for both rental and purchase. We have a wide variety of mobility aids including walkers, scooters, canes, crutches and wheelchairs, plus safety equipment for the bathroom and bedroom, patient lifts, and therapeutic cushions and pillows.

Avondale HME covers all your medical equipment needs

In addition to durable medical equipment for rent or purchase, Avondale HME also offers a substantial selection of disposable medical equipment, making us a one-stop-shop for all your home medical care needs. Our expert customer service professionals can answer all your questions and help you select the right equipment, so give us a call at (623) 552-6012 today.