Will Medicare pay for an automatic, locked, pill dispenser for Alzheimer's patients?

Anitacar asked...

Will Medicare pay for an automatic, locked, pill dispenser for an Alzhiemir's patient if a doctor prescribes one?

Expert Answer

A wide array of medical equipment is covered by Medicare Part B, but an automated pill dispenser is not one of the pieces of equipment that Medicare normally covers. However, there may be some exception in the Medicare rules or guidelines that permits coverage of such a pill dispenser if prescribed by a physician for an Alzheimer's patient. The best way to find out about whether there is such coverage would be to discuss it with one or all of the following:

  1. The patient's doctor. If the doctor specializes in the treatment of Alzheimer's patients, he or she might have experience with Medicare coverage of the pill dispenser that the doctor intends to prescribe. If so, ask whether the doctor's office can contact Medicare to see about coverage for this particular patient.

  2. Equipment seller. A pharmacy or medical equipment supplier that sells the pill dispensers is likely to know if there is any Medicare coverage for the equipment.

  3. Alzheimer's groups. You can contact the Alzheimer's Association or Alzheimer's Foundation to see if they know of any Medicare coverage for the pill dispenser, or whether there is any other source of help to buy the equipment.