Will Medicare pay for a home hospital bed for an elderly person?
Yes, Medicare Part B can help pay for a hospital bed and other "durable medical equipment." For Medicare to cover it, an item of equipment must be "medically necessary" and prescribed by a doctor, and it must be supplied by a medical equipment provider who is officially approved by Medicare. If it covers the bed, Medicare will pay 80 percent of its "approved" amount for its rental (after the patient meets the yearly Part B deductible of $135); the patient must pay the other 20 percent, either out-of-pocket or through Medigap or other insurance.
If the medical equipment supplier accepts "assignment" of the Medicare approved amount for the bed, it can charge the patient no more than 20 percent of that approved amount. However, if the supplier does not accept assignment, it can charge whatever it wants beyond the Medicare approved amount. So, before ordering a hospital bed, ask not only if the supplier is enrolled in Medicare but also if they are a Medicare "participating" supplier. A participating supplier is required to accept assignment of the Medicare-approved amount. A supplier that is enrolled in Medicare, but isn't "participating," might accept assignment but isn't required to. If you are considering using a supplier who is not "participating," ask ahead of time if they will accept assignment for your claim. If not, look for another supplier.
To find suppliers who accept assignment, go to the Medicare Suppliers Directory on the official Medicare web site. Or, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). To find out more about Medicare coverage of durable medical equipment, you can look at Medicare's publication Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices .
Editor's Note: The dollar amounts noted above may have changed. For the most recent information, please check Medicare.gov's page about hospital beds .
Wheelchair to bed
Bed to wheelchair
The height of a bed is critical if you transfer independently. A bed that is too low is difficult to rise from. Conversely, a bed that is too high is difficult to shuffle back on and to lift the legs up on to. The firmness of the mattress will also make a difference. An old mattress or one that 'gives' under body weight, is difficult to shuffle on or get support from when pushing up to stand.
In some cases it may be difficult to find a compromise between the optimum height for the carers who are helping with personal care or nursing activities, and a suitable height for the your transfers. Height adjustable equipment is the ideal solution for this issue. This is also essential if one height is needed for getting out of bed and another for getting into it.
Hoist to bed transfers
If a hoist is used for transferring, make sure there is sufficient clearance under the bed for the hoist chassis, and that the hoist lifts to a height to adequately clear the bed.
Need for an assessment
If you are having difficulty getting on/off your bed, we recommend you arrange an assessment with an occupational therapist . It is important that you have an individual assessment as there are many factors which may affect what is appropriate for you. For example, the height which is appropriate depends on the individual.
Equipment can help with independent bed transfers like Friendly Beds!
There are ways you can make your home life as easy as possible.
General Safety Guidelines:Have emergency numbers (police, fire, poison control, and a neighbor's phone number) close by. Put them in an easily seen place, like on the fridge.
Have a phone near you at all times.Keep a cell phone in your pocket. It'll be especially important if you fall.
Make sure smoke detectors work.You should test them about once a month. If possible, get interconnected ones so if one goes off, they all go off.
Avoid space heaters and electric blankets.They're fire hazards.
How Can Tools Help?An occupational therapist or rehabilitation specialist can recommend some equipment to make home care and daily activities more comfortable for you.
Examples of things they may suggest include:
How Can I Make My Home Easier to Live In?Not all of these recommendations may be right for you. Your occupational therapist or rehabilitation specialist can help determine which of these are best for you.
In your living room and bedrooms:
Place furniture so that you have wide walkways.This will leave you plenty of space to move around.
If you can, make outlets easily available for lamps and appliances.If you need extension cords, make sure they're secured with tape and out of the way, so you don't trip on them.
Use chairs with straight backs, armrests, and firm seats. This will make it easier for you to get up and sit down. Firm cushions can add height and make it easier to move.
Look for lamps that you can turn on with a touchor with sound.
If possible, change your phones to ones with larger buttons.It'll make dialing easier. Have the numbers you call a lot programmed into speed dial.
Install handrailsalong walls, hallways, and stairwells where there is nothing to hold on to.
If you have trouble getting out of bed, see about having a stationary pole or "trapeze" barinstalled. You could also try to sleep in a reclining chair.
In your bathroom:
Use an elevated toilet seat or safety rails to make it easier for you get up.Don't use towel racks or bathroom tissue holders to help you stand.
Put extended lever handles on your faucets.That'll make them easier to turn.
Put grab bars inside and outside your bathtub or shower.It'll lower your risk of a slip and fall. A bathtub transfer bench, or a shower chair with a back supportcan be useful, too, as can a non-skid mat or decalsin the bathtub.
Get rid of small bathroom mats that may cause you to trip. A large rug that covers most of the floor with nonstick backing is a great alternative. Wall-to-wall carpeting would work best.
In your kitchen:
Have at least one counter workspace loweredso you can reach it when you're sitting.
Use an electric jar openerto loosen tough lids. Don't close jars or containers too tight when you're through with them.
Get help with lift-tab cans from an extended lever.
Use pans with a wide base.That way, you're less likely to knock them over.
When you need to cut or peel vegetables, use a food processor.
Put utensils, pots, pans, and measuring cups on a pegboard or in an accessible cupboard.Lower storage spaces force you to bend. When you do have to get things out of lower cupboards, sit.
Use a spike boardto keep vegetables and fruit still so you have both hands free to peel or chop them.