Medical equipment is often needed to make people’s daily living activities easier and in some cases even possible. But with some of Medicare’s new stipulations, individuals may find getting accustomed to the rules a little challenging.
One thing that is important to note is that Medicare only pays 80 percent of the medical bill. The other 20 percent will go to the patient’s secondary or supplementary insurance. In the case of no insurance, the patient has to pay out of pocket, according to Amanda Burford, the billing office manager of North Florida Medical Sales and Rental of Gainesville. In the case of financial hardships, companies are willing to help the beneficiary out with the monthly expense.
There is also a current deductible that costs the patient $147 and needs to be paid before Medicare will incur any costs. Every month, if the patient received a rental item, their bill releases electronically to Medicare. To avoid paying the deductible twice, the patient needs to be aware when visiting doctor’s offices and other medical offices that which ever claim hits first, will be where their yearly deductible will be taken from, according to Burford.
There have also been some changes concerning renting and buying medical equipment. For certain equipment, Medicare is requiring notes signed by a physician within six months prior to delivery. Verbal deliveries are now a thing of the past and doctors are now adjusting to this new requirement, according to Brenda Cosby, account executive at North Florida Medical Sales and Rental of Gainesville.
It is also important to note that there must be a prescription for anything to be billed to Medicare and the doctor must substantiate the need for the equipment. If there is something not covered by Medicare, the patient can buy it with cash. After 13 months of payments for rented equipment, the title of the equipment transfers to the patient. After five years, the patient is eligible for new equipment with the only exception being if condition changes during that time, according to Cosby.