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What medical equipment from medicare to order.
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 2:36 PM
Joined: 4/17/2016
Posts: 33

I was told that my wife's medicare/medicaid will provide durable accessories such as hand grabs toilet extensions walkers etc. What do i need to have Dr write prescriptions for to help in bed and bathroom.
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 4:03 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2558

To "order" equipment, the doctor has to determine that it's medically necessary and arrange for it.  It can be difficult unless your doc has staff that is skilled in the process.   I actually found that the VA was more skilled than our doc in this area.   Items that are frequently needed, starting with earlier needs:

Bath chair


Commode (to use separately or over toilet)


Hospital bed

Hoyer lift

Some communities have lending closets that recycle durable medical equipment (DME).  They are very helpful


Jo C.
Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 5:02 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10865

It is a little complicated and one has to be very careful.  Durable Medical Equipment is covered under Medicare Part B.  The deductible must be met and then Medicare pays 80% of the cost; if a person has a supplemental plan, most of them will cover that other 20%.   I have enclosed a link of items NOT covered by Medicare; grab bars are not covered:

When equipment is ordered, to be covered, it MUST be ordered from a company that is approved as a supplier by Medicare and has a Medicare supplier number; not all are.  You will also need a physician or NP order that outlines the medical necessity for the equipment need.  Here is a link that explains that and also explains what Medicare DOES cover:   

If you have Medicare Advantage rather than regular Medicare, you will need to check with your Advantage Plan to find out what is covered and what any costs to you might be, and how to get said equipment ordered.

Best wishes for a good outcome,


Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 10:12 PM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 650


It's kind of a tricky deal with Medicare.

Non-Hospice Medicare will provide some equipment such as walkers and portable potties on a once-only basis if a doctor perscribes them, but you then own them.  I got both for my wife when she got a knee replacement.  I didn't ask for a wheelchair because I wanted to pick out one I wanted.

And when you get to Hospice, they order equipment from NHME (National Hospice Medical Equipment), which lends you equipment and are very fast with delivery, usually the next day.  If you make a case with your hospice nurse, you can get hospital beds, hoyer lifts, and all the equipment that JJaz speaks of, on a lending basis.


Posted: Sunday, June 9, 2019 11:18 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2558

If you are non-hospice, the easiest way to get DME is through the social worker during discharge from a hospital.  They are better connected than the doc offices.
Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 4:19 AM
Joined: 4/17/2016
Posts: 33

Thanks for the replies. I know the process can be frustrating and sometimes wind up buying what works best instead of what is approved. My wifes nurse/case manager sad all i need is a rx from Dr and they will provide what medicare/medicaid has on list of approved DME.Just went out and bought stand up recliner and Jen is back to the endless pacing instead of being confined to chair or bed due to side effects of UTI, who knew it would take six weeks to recover. Off to a new job interview to be able to work from home or be home by 2pm .Wish me luck

Thanks Tom.

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