Both adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment assist people with certain medical conditions in their lives. However, while they may seem similar, with how they both make life easier, they are not the same thing. Durable medical equipment can be covered by insurance, while this may not be the case for adaptive equipment.
Here is what you need to know about the difference between adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment to help you navigate what you need to make life safer and more accessible. This can also help you understand why insurance usually covers durable medical equipment but may not cover adaptive equipment.
What Is The Difference Between Adaptive Equipment And Durable Medical Equipment?
Both adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment make it easier to function with an injury, disability, or medical condition. Adaptive equipment makes life in general easier, while durable medical equipment is prescribed by your doctor to help you manage your condition.
This can be a bit confusing for those new to the world of assistive devices. After all, both types of equipment are meant to simplify caregiving and increase safety and accessibility. We’ll go more in-depth into the difference between adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment below.
What Is Adaptive Equipment?
Adaptive equipment is essentially any type of device or tool that can make life easier for those with hearing, visual, or mobility impairments. You can consult with a medical professional in order to determine the best types of adaptive equipment for yourself or a loved one. There are different types of adaptive equipment for all over the home.
Some common types of adaptive equipment include:
- Toilet seat risers
- Bathroom grab bars
- Walk-in bathtubs
- Adjustable beds
- Button loopers
- Medicine organizers
- Appliances with automatic shut-off capabilities
- Pull-down kitchen shelves
- Screen readers
- Hearing aids
- Doorbell signalers
- And much more
With how many different types of adaptive equipment there are, it’s likely you will be able to find something that works for you or your loved one. If you cannot, your doctor likely will be able to help you.
What Is Durable Medical Equipment?
Durable medical equipment is prescribed by your doctor that is medically necessary for your condition. It includes medical supplies and devices that can be used repeatedly.
In order for something to qualify as durable medical equipment, it must be:
- Durable (able to be used repeatedly).
- Used for a medical reason.
- Be prescribed by/ordered by a medical provider.
- Be used in the home.
- Be useful to those with a disability, injury, or medical condition.
- Have a lifespan of 3 or more years.
Some examples of durable medical equipment include:
- Blood sugar meters
- Blood sugar test strips
- Prosthetic equipment
- Oxygen equipment and accessories
- Traction equipment
- Kidney machines
- Hospital beds
- And more
Why Is It Important To Know The Difference Between Adaptive Equipment And Durable Medical Equipment?
It comes down to insurance coverage. While both adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment help people with injuries, disabilities, or medical conditions, insurance coverage varies.
Most insurance plans will cover all or most of the costs associated with durable medical equipment. Depending on the plan, there may be restrictions associated with this. For instance, some plans may only cover durable medical equipment from certain brands. Other plans may only pay for your durable medical equipment after you have met your deductible. If you want to know what your insurance coverage is like, you will need to contact your insurance and discuss it with them.
Adaptive equipment may help improve one’s life, but it typically is not categorized as medically necessary. As such, many insurance plans do not cover adaptive equipment. This may be confusing or frustrating to some people, especially when it comes to assistive devices like hearing aids. Adaptive equipment like hearing aids are considered elective devices and not medically necessary, hence why they are not typically covered.
What Do You Do If You Need Durable Medical Equipment?
As you can see, it is important to know the difference between adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment for insurance coverage purposes.
If you need adaptive equipment or durable medical equipment, you can talk to your doctor and they will help you. If you need durable medical equipment, your doctor will need to prescribe or order it.
Life Health Medical Center provides durable medical equipment, such as custom braces, TENS units, and cervical traction units. To learn more about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment today!