Durable medical equipment may be necessary for individuals receiving care in and out of nursing home facilities. In this article, we’ll define the term “durable medical equipment,” review Medicare’s coverage of it, and explain how it relates to nursing home abuse.
Durable medical equipment, also referred to as DME, is equipment that helps people complete their activities of daily living. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary durable medical equipment when a Medicare-enrolled doctor or other healthcare provider orders it for use in the home.
Durable medical equipment includes a variety of items such as:
To be eligible for Medicare coverage, durable medical equipment must meet these requirements:
Medicare will not cover durable medical equipment if the doctors and suppliers aren’t enrolled in Medicare.
After meeting the Medicare Part B deductible, the insured individual will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. The exact way that Medicare pays for durable medical equipment is dependent on the type of equipment. The individual may be required to rent or buy the equipment, or they may have the option to choose which to do.
Medicare Part B covers durable medical equipment for home use. Residents of skilled nursing facilities and hospital inpatients have their durable medical equipment covered by Medicare Part A. However, Medicare only covers a stay in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days. Residents of long-term nursing facilities will have to find another way to pay for their care, such as with Medicaid.
All residents of nursing homes, both for short-term and long-term stays, and their loved ones should be aware of the risk of nursing home abuse. Any harm that is done to a nursing home patient - both intentional and unintentional - by nursing home staff is considered nursing home abuse.
If you believe that you or somebody you care about has been the victim of nursing home abuse, it is recommended that you contact the relevant authorities promptly. You may also want to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about your options for pursuing justice through a lawsuit.