Does Medicare pay for patient ceiling lifts?

Ggooden asked...

Does Medicare pay for patient ceiling lifts? A statement of medical necessity has been obtained from the doctor.

Expert Answer

Medicare Part B covers medical equipment that includes "patient lifts" -- mechanical or hydraulic devices that help to safely lift a person out of or into a bed or chair. These lifts are intended to avoid injuries to patients and caregivers alike. For Medicare to pay for the lift, it must be prescribed by a doctor and the doctor must file a "Certificate of Medical Necessity" with Medicare. Before you rent or buy a lift, that certificate must be received and accepted by Medicare. Also, be aware that Medicare will not necessarily approve any lift. It must be a type of life approved by Medicare and carried by a Medicare-certified supplier of durable medical equipment.

Once you have approval for the lift from Medicare, you must get it from a supplier that is certified by Medicare. You can go on the Medicare web site to find certified medical equipment dealers near you. Or you can call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227. It's also important to get the equipment from a supplier who is a "participating supplier." These suppliers will not charge more for equipment than the amount approved by Medicare. If Medicare covers the lift, it will pay 80 percent of this Medicare-approved amount. The Medicare beneficiary, or the beneficiary's Medigap supplemental insurance policy, pays a coinsurance amount of 20 percent. (WARNING: If you get the equipment from a supplier who is certified by Medicare but who is not a "participating supplier," the supplier can charge you as much as it wants above the Medicare-approved amount.)

To see further detail about Medicare coverage for durable medical equipment, you can go online and look at Medicare's official booklet called Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment and Other Devices.