Purchasing Durable Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies
It is important to make an informed purchase when deciding buy or rent durable medical equipment (DME) and home medical supplies. Carmichael’s Medical Equipment business segment has four major lines – home medical equipment and supplies; respiratory therapy equipment, supplies and services; enteral and oral nutritional products. Items include portable oxygen cylinders, nebulizers, CPAP and BiPap devices, wheelchairs, walkers, fully electric beds, transfer benches, bath aids, safety products, post-mastectomy prosthesis, diabetic shoes, lift chairs, oral nutritional products, parenteral/enteral infusion pumps and more.
When purchasing a new item or renting used equipment, a Carmichael’s representative can help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. We ensure that our customers are able to find the products they need for their individual home health care needs. Carmichael’s billing specialists provide consultation and check and bill Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance plans, which will either contribute, pay a portion of or cover the entire cost. Customers may also pay a portion out-of-pocket or the full amount as well.
Many assisted living and mobility aids need to be customized for an elderly or disabled person. Many items can accommodate various heights and weights. However, there some items may need to be custom-fitted for the individual. Certain items and those that are prescribed by a doctor come with a free professional fitting.
Some equipment and supplies are initially rented through Medicare for a specific amount of time, and ownership is automatically given to the customer after 13 months. In certain situations, a customer may have to buy equipment and supplies, especially if Medicare requires that the individual purchase a customized item. Medicare has different rules for oxygen respiratory therapy equipment that a Carmichael’s billing specialist also can explain. Medicare may require an individual to either rent or buy an item, depending on the type of equipment or supplies needed.
When a private insurance plan will not cover durable medical equipment and home medical supplies, an individual must pay out-of-pocket. However, renting or purchasing the item used makes the cost more affordable. To reduce out-of-pocket costs, it is helpful to be aware of all the possible sources of funds that may be available to you, a loved one or a home health care patient who is elderly or disabled.
Repairs and Returns
Before purchasing an item, understand the availability of replacement parts and whether it can be repaired if it breaks or malfunctions. For an item such as a nebulizer, find out if it can be sterilized, how difficult it is to clean, disassemble and reassemble. Consider options if any equipment or supplies do not meet your needs and cannot be returned. A Carmichael’s representative can clarify the return policy and whether there is a re-stocking fee.
Under federal law, individuals and patients have the right to choose who they want to provide their medical products and services, including pharmacy and home medical equipment. Choose Carmichael’s – we’ve been providing quality products and superior customer service for many years. Contact us during our normal hours of operation to speak to one of our specialists for consultation and to satisfy your medical needs.