By RANDY SCHROEDER - The first step in obtaining medical equipment is seeing what products are available by visiting home medical companies.
If you want to have your insurance assist in paying for the equipment, you must visit your physician. During your appointment, have a detailed conversation with your physician about why the equipment is needed. Ask for a prescription for the product.
The doctor can fax all your information to a medical equipment supplier, where they can tell you if the item is covered by insurance.
Medical equipment typically is the lowest-cost option to remain independent in the home.
Safety is also a concern and can be addressed by lift-chairs, walkers, wheelchairs, call buttons, ramps, stair lifts and bathroom aids, just to mention a few items.
The more safety issues are addressed in the home, the lower the probability of trips and falls that result in losing your independence.
Many times, it takes a family member or neighbor to identify the safety issues of others. Please take the opportunity to gently recommend a solution for a potential problem that could risk the independence or safety of someone you care about.
The holidays are when many observations and conversations take place. It also may be an opportunity to buy someone a "gift" to help them maintain their independence.
There are so many options for home assistance that no one should struggle on a daily basis.
Please reach out to people that can help with independence and safety in the home. Start with family members, neighbors, church friends, physicians and medical equipment suppliers, and do some research to gather information.
It is typically easier to take that information from the Internet and then speak with a supplier and your physician so they can have a conversation with you regarding your lifestyle and needs.
Medicare and private insurance companies, for the most part, cover the items if all the criteria are met and the product is used inside the home. It is their guideline to not cover the item when it is used only for pleasure.
This is not saying you can't take your equipment with you when traveling or into the yard, but there has to be an issue inside the home for insurance coverage to pay for the equipment.
Schroeder is with Northwest Ohio Medical Equipment, Findlay. Questions for Blanchard Valley Health System experts may be sent to Weekend Doctor, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.
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