Oh My God. Homebound People Can Get Medical Equipment Now??!!

Art: Robin Mead

Many of us who are homebound and disabled have run up against an ironic dilemma: You can be too sick to get medical equipment.

Medicare and some other insurance companies require a “face-to-face” assessment with a doctor to prescribe equipment. For example, you are required to go to your doctor’s office if you need a wheelchair, scooter, walker, or hospital bed.

How exactly is a homebound person with no mobility equipment supposed to pull off this magic?

Introducing: New Rules for Doctor’s Visits

Good news, now that the world has turned upside down, and everyone else gets to be us for a moment, we may have a small window of opportunity. Medicare, and many other insurance companies state that they are now treating online visits the same as a face-to-face visit.

Learn more about: New Rules for Online Doctors & Therapists

How Long Do I Have?

The new rules covering online visits are temporary. We certainly hope they will stay once Coronavirus crisis passes, but no way to know for sure. Get it while you can!

Do I Need to See a Physical Therapist? 

Some people also get an assessment by a physical therapist in addition to their doctor’s assessment (this is not generally required, but can be helpful).

You can see if your doctor is able to provide you with a referral to a home health agency who can provide a home visit from a physical therapist. However, we do not know how many physical therapists will be willing to do home visits right now.

We want to stress that the physical therapy visit is often not required by insurance. Some people mistakenly think it is a requirement. If your regular doctor chart notes include the correct information, it is possible to get approved in most cases.

How To Qualify

Sadly, just having a doctor’s visit isn’t quite enough. Many people still get turned down by insurance companies for the equipment the doctor prescribes.

Happily, you can solve this problem, by learning what the insurance company is looking for, and then working with your doc.

Here’s a few resources that might help:

Electric wheelchairs and scooters:

Hospital beds:

If you have ME/CFS:

If you are applying for disability:

Today’s Updates

For anyone who is homebound or sheltering-in-place: Food. Rent. Internet. Unemployment. Paid Leave. Student Loans. Love. Grocery Delivery. Doctor Visits. Local Help. What to Do During School Closings: Read all the Latest Updates

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