When we talk about insurance for special needs beds, we also talk about “DME Suppliers.” DME suppliers play a critical role in sourcing and distributing special needs beds around the country. But what is a DME Supplier? And how does their role impact product distribution, especially when it comes to products like special needs safety beds?
Defining ‘DME Supplier’
First, let’s start with the initials. “DME” stands for “durable medical equipment,” which includes medical products—such as ventilators, prosthetics, and fully enclosed safety beds—intended to manage chronic conditions.
With that in mind, a DME supplier is a business that specializes in the distribution of medical equipment and treatment devices you won’t find in the grocery store or even your local pharmacy.
If you or a loved one has ever purchased dialysis equipment, blood sugar meters, an electric wheelchair, or any other sort of medical equipment, a DME supplier was likely involved at some point in the transaction.
Because DME suppliers are a critical part of our healthcare system, these organizations are regulated by stringent federal and state laws, regardless of where they’re located.
What Kind of Equipment Does A DME Supplier Carry?
A DME supplier can carry a wide variety of medical devices. In general, these devices meet a few different requirements, including:
- The product serves some sort of medical purpose
- The product is durable and reusable, with an expected lifespan of at least three years
- The product isn’t generally useful for someone who isn’t sick, injured, or has a medical necessity for the product
With those criteria in place, medical devices you’ll find from DME suppliers include:
- Blood sugar monitors and test strips
- Canes and crutches
- Oxygen equipment
- Patient lifts
- Special needs beds
Of course, this is only a small sample of the much larger list of medical supplies available through a DME supplier.
Why Does A DME Supplier Matter When Purchasing A Special Needs Bed?
A DME provider may also play a critical role if you ever need to purchase a fully enclosed special needs bed to assist a loved one.
For one, the DME is a critical part of the insurance coverage approval process. Having your special needs bed covered by insurance can be extremely helpful, as many special needs beds cost between $5,000-$10,000. However, the 200 Model of the Safety Sleeper® starts under $4,000 before insurance, making it a much more affordable option!
The DME may also send an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) to visit your home and assess the needs of your loved one. Once you’ve picked out the right bed and it finally arrives at your home, the ATP may also help you understand the product’s assembly and nuances.
If you need help reaching a DME for your special needs bed, or if you have questions about starting the insurance process for a special needs bed, contact us! We’ll help you find a DME in your area who can assist you.