Coffee & Coverage: Patient Lifts

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Your doctor may have mentioned that it is time for a patient lift in your home. What will Medicare help with when it comes to the expenses?

What is a patient lift?

Patient lifts are mechanical hoists that are designed to help with safely transfer people with mobility difficulties from one place to another. They are usually used to move people from a bed to a chair, wheelchair, or toilet and back.

Are you eligible?

Medicare may help you pay for a patient lift under durable medical equipment (DME) coverage. Before Medicare will help, though, you must be eligible for coverage. Medicare benefits will not cover the expenses of electric lifts.

Your Medicare benefits may help cover the cost of it if you meet the following criteria:

  • You need assistance from at least two people in order to transfer you from your bed to a chair, wheelchair, or toilet.
  • Without the patient lift, you would be confined to your bed.
  • Your doctor must write you a prescription for the DME.

Medicare coverage

Medicare Part B beneficiaries have DME coverage. Medicare may pay 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount and you will be expected to pay the remaining 20 percent. For patient lifts, you have the option to either rent or purchase the equipment.

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