Medicare Coverage of Air-Fluidized Beds

What It Is

Rental of an air-fluidized bed for use at home by patients with pressure ulcers (bedsores), burns, skin grafts, or other skin conditions

What's Covered

Medicare Part B pays for the rental of an air-fluidized bed if prescribed by a doctor.

Note: Before the patient rents the bed, the prescribing doctor must send Medicare a written request for approval, called a Certificate of Medical Necessity. Also, the bed must be rented from a Medicare-certified medical equipment supplier.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, must cover everything that's included in original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. But sometimes a Part C plan covers more, with extra services or an expanded amount of coverage. (Co-payments for Part C plans may also be different than those for Part A or Part B.) To find out if your plan provides extra coverage or requires different co-payments for an air-fluidized bed, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for rental of an air-fluidized bed. The supplier is responsible for service and maintenance.

Warning: If an air-fluidized bed is rented from what's called a Medicare "participating supplier," the supplier can't charge more than the Medicare-approved amount. However, a supplier who's enrolled in Medicare but isn't an officially participating supplier may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount. In that case, the patient must personally pay the difference between the Medicare-approved amount and the amount the supplier actually charges (on top of the 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount that Medicare doesn't pay).

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care or equipment, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care or equipment must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care or equipment must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care or equipment is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care or equipment must be provided by a healthcare provider or equipment supplier who participates in Medicare.

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