Everything You Need to Know About Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Image of a senior woman sitting in wheelchair having respiratory difficulties on oxygen therapy

What Is Durable Medical Equipment? Here's Everything You Should Know

If you've spent a significant amount of time working in the medical industry, then you've probably come across the term "durable medical equipment."

However, just because you've heard the term doesn't mean anyone's taken the time to explain exactly what it means.

To help you familiarize yourself with this medical term, we've written this article. In it, we'll give you the answer to the question of 'what is durable medical equipment' and teach you about the uses of durable medical equipment.

What Is Durable Medical Equipment?

There are a few different characteristics that define durable medical equipment.

The first and most obvious characteristic is that the equipment has to have a primary medical use. It cannot be a piece of industrial or any other type of equipment that can also double as medical equipment. A medical purpose has to be its primary function.

The second defining characteristic is that it is for everyday use. This is not something that is used once or twice for a couple of medical procedures. It isn't something that only needs to be brought out every year or so. And it certainly can't be single use.

Lastly, the piece of equipment has to be reliable. Typically, one can think of the word reliable as meaning that it can last and accomplish its primary purpose safely for a minimum of three years.

Examples of Durable Medical Equipment

Now that you know what constitutes durable medical equipment, let's take a look at a few such pieces of equipment.

One of the most common pieces of durable medical equipment is a wheelchair.

A patient who uses a wheelchair uses it for the primary function of getting around to replace his or her natural motor function. A wheelchair is a piece of medical equipment, and it is used daily by the patient. Lastly, a wheelchair is reasonably expected to last a number of years.

Another common figure in a list of medical supplies DME is an oxygen tank. 

An oxygen tank serves the medical purpose of providing the patient with constant, forced oxygen flow. It is used regularly by patients who require assisted breathing mechanisms. And lastly, oxygen tanks can be refilled, making them usable in the long-term.

Last, but not least, prosthetics are also durable medical equipment. Prosthetics medically replace a patient's motor function. They are used every time the patient needs that motor function, and once fitted, can typically be used for at least a few years.

Other Types of Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

  • Walkers
  • Hospital Beds
  • Power Scooters
  • Orthodics
  • Blood Sugar Monitors
  • Canes
  • Crutches
  • Patient Lifts
  • Traction Equipment

Durable Medical Equipment, Made Simple

With this guide under your belt, you should be able to answer the question, "What is durable medical equipment?"

You'll know whether the equipment that your purchasing falls under that qualification and can thus take advantage of any insurance or Medicare benefits that the equipment may qualify for.

If you're looking for a supplementary piece of DME — a wheelchair van to help you tote your wheelchair around, then you're in the right place. Check out our inventory of mobility solutions today!

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