Suppies- what does Medicare cover?

Can someone give me a list of what Medicare covers when it comes to supplies for the tx.? Are there items the patient must pay for, or does Medicare cover everything necessary for the tx.

Does medicare cover items like a scale, bp cuff, large trash can, trash can bags, thermometer etc?

You can look at the Medicare FAQs to see some of the things that Medicare covers. Medicare pays for the covered items at 80%. Medicare does not cover trash cans or trash bags or sharps containers. Medicare only pays for scales, thermometers, etc. if these items are included in the start-up kit for no extra charge. Some clinics provide them for their patients and don’t bill Medicare for them. If not, patients must buy these items. However, many people already have them.

One of the items listed under supplies is the following:

A basic recliner chair (for HD) that does not rock, swivel, vibrate, or heat. If the patient wants to have a recliner with these features, the invoice should indicate the charge for the basic chair. The patient can pay to upgrade to premium features.

NO one mentioned this to us. Is the provision of a recliner chair currently in effect?

Also, when it comes to supplies, who decides the cost and quality of the supplies? For ex., there is cheap gauze and good quality gauze.

Or what if one is issued supplies that break down. Like what if the thermometer or scale don’t work properly-should they be replaced?

The Medicare coverage manual is not very precise when it talks about coverage, but it still says that a basic recliner chair is covered. I believe that a clinic cannot bill separately for it if the patient is a Method I patient. Although a Method II supply company may be able to bill separately for one. I bet clinics that provide chairs provide the same ones they use in-center. Some patients may choose to buy their own chairs.

In my experience working in 3 clinics over 18 years, I never heard a patient complain about the quality of the supplies that he/she received. Certain supplies are only Medicare covered if they’re in the “start up kit” that the supply company provides. I don’t remember anyone reporting a broken scale or thermometer, but it’s possible that patients bought their own if the one provided broke so they could choose the type they wanted.