Anyone that has spent more than a week or two sick or injured in bed knows just how uncomfortable being bedridden can be. Fortunately, there are solutions for patients that need bed sore relief, including air-fluidized beds.
Air fluidized beds are therapy beds that provide an ideal healing environment for patients with compromised skin. They are designed to minimize the forces that cause tissue breakdown, including pressure, shear, friction, heat and moisture. An air-fluidized bed supports the body with thousands of tiny soda-lime glass beads suspended by pressurized, temperature-controlled air. The patient rests on a polyester filter sheet that covers the beads.
As you might imagine, this type of therapy bed is very expensive. Fortunately, it is one of the items covered by Medicare. You’ll need to follow a couple of easy steps.
Medicare Coverage of Air fluidized Beds
If you have Original Medicare your Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage will pay for 80% of an air-fluidized bed. You pay the rest, unless you have a Medigap policy that covers it. It’s also covered if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. You’ll need to call your plan to determine if they pay more than what’s covered by Medicare Part B.
These beds are covered as durable medical equipment (DME), and your doctor must prescribe it for you. Medicare requires your doctor to complete a special form and send it to Medicare to get approval for the equipment. It’s called a Certificate of Medical Necessity.
Be aware that Medicare pays for different kinds of DME in different ways. For instance, some equipment may be rented, other equipment may be purchased, and you may choose to rent or buy some equipment.
Also, Medicare only covers durable medical equipment if you get it from a DME supplier that’s enrolled in the Medicare Program. This means that the supplier has been approved by Medicare and has a Medicare supplier number. For your protection, suppliers enrolled in the Medicare Program have passed strict standards. If your supplier doesn’t have a supplier number, Medicare won’t pay your claim, so be sure to ask.
For more information about how Medicare covers durable medical equipment, download the DME guide from Medicare.gov (pdf).