Category : Medical Equipment
Why do we need them and what do they do?
Medical equipment suppliers are the key component between a patient and their healthcare provider. They provide the equipment needed for both diagnosis and treatment of the patient and the functions of the body. These tools are typically referred to as “durable medical equipment” or “DME.” The requested or prescribed equipment can be utilised for short term use, as would be indicated by an accidental injury or rehabilitation, or for longer term use, such as home health in chronic or disabling ailments. Providers and patients alike have access to DME through these suppliers, at which time the determination would be made as to whether rental or purchase of the equipment is ideal. The ultimate outcome for suppliers is to provide the best-suited equipment that will allow the patient the highest quality of life while being treated and/or healing.
In most cases, the billing for DME is handled by the supplier. It is first determined if the patient is covered by health insurance, and if so if the policy allows coverage of DME. If so, the supplier will provide the information and submit the claim for payment directly. This is also the case for Medicare and Medicaid eligible individuals. In the case where a patient is not covered by health insurance at all, the supplier will direct bill the patient for the rental or full purchase price. The supplier is able to make allowances at their own discretion for those not covered by insurance. Some practitioners will choose to make DME readily available in their offices and will seek out a supplier to contract with. In this case, the billing would be handled by the issuing party.
All DME is tracked using coding set by the suppliers. This allows for information regarding the specific equipment and patient to be readily available. This also references the make, model, and usages of the equipment. Especially in cases of rental, where the supplier is still ultimately in ownership of the equipment, this allows for skilled technicians to have access to the equipment. The equipment will have standards to maximise the safety of use and efficiency of the product. The supplier is, at the time of distribution, able to make a specific designation of where the liability is in place for these services. In the case of rentals, most likely, the supplier will provide all maintenance and/or service needed, at no additional cost to the patient. They then also have the ability to abstain from such a contract in the event of purchase. At that time the supplier can enter into warranty with the patient and/or the manufacturer at their discretion.
The main focus of all parties involved in any given patient care is to provide the best means at the best price to provide the best care. Medical equipment suppliers take the burden from facilities, practitioners, and patients by doing the leg work. Suppliers work directly with the manufacturers to ensure that the equipment is of the highest technological and quality standards. At any given time a supplier can decide to work independently or in concurrence with insurance agencies, practitioner groups or large health systems. It is the sole discretion of the supplier which ownership will prove most beneficial. One company is Select Patient Care who are Medical Equipment Suppliers in Australia, and to the world.