Considerations BEFORE Putting Your Loved Ones in a Medicare Bed

If you’re thinking about buying a hospital bed through Medicare, it’s important to realize that Medicare has guidelines that you must meet in order for a hospital bed to be deemed medically necessary.

Under Medicare, a hospital bed is covered if the beneficiary meets one of the following criteria, and if the beneficiary requires frequent changes in body position and/or has an immediate need for a change in body position.

  1. The beneficiary has a medical condition which requires positioning of the body in ways not feasible with an ordinary bed. Elevation of the head/upper body less than 30 degrees does not usually require the use of a hospital bed, or
  2. The beneficiary requires positioning of the body in ways not feasible with an ordinary bed in order to alleviate pain, or
  3. The beneficiary requires the head of the bed to be elevated more than 30 degrees most of the time due to congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease, or problems with aspiration, or
  4. The beneficiary requires traction equipment, which can only be attached to a hospital bed.

If you’re loved ones do qualify for the Hospital bed, then consider the other guidelines for purchasing a bed with Medicare.

  1. Under Medicare, the hospital bed will be a rental. It is on a 13 billable month rental program. That means that the supplier must receive 13 months’ payments before your loved one owns the bed. Under these guidelines, the patient must need the equipment inside their home, meaning in their house/apartment, including an independent or assisted living facility. Medicare will not cover a bed if a patient is in in a long term/nursing/skilled facility, or in hospice care. Since Medicare program rents the hospital bed, your chances of getting a new bed frame or mattress are slim.
  1. Keep in mind that Medicare programs only allow up to a semi electric hospital bed, which will allow your loved one to control the head/foot section with a corded controller. The height of the bed is adjusted via a manual hand crank.
  1. When choosing a mattress for the bed, keep in mind that most suppliers only provide the minimum mattress that is required under Medicare guidelines. This does include an innerspring mattress.
  2. The supplier is responsible to keep the equipment up and running for the patient under the Medicare Rental Program. If repairs are needed after the 13 billable months then there are further restrictions if the bed ever needs repairs. These restrictions may mean that it could take longer to get the bed repaired.

 5 Reasons to Avoid Medicare Hospital Beds

  1. You do not have to meet Medicare guidelines. The bed can go with your loved one if you have to move them to a nursing home or other living situation.
  2. You can purchase the bed and it will be new with a new mattress and a manufacture warranty.
  3. You can choose the type of bed that you want to provide your loved one, including the caregiver’s safety and convenience.
  4. Comfort is individual you will be able to provide your loved one with appropriate mattress options for their comfort.
  5. You know you have a manufacture warranty and a manufacturer that stands by their product.

Med Mart staff are happy to help you find just the right bed for your loved one. Please contact us with any questions!