Durable medical equipment (DME) describes medical equipment and supplies ordered by a healthcare provider for a patient's routine, long-term use. DME refers to a wide variety of devices to meet all manner of medical needs, including:
- CPAP/BiPAP machines
- Hospital beds
- Blood glucose monitors
Many insurance plans provide coverage for DME, including Medicare Part B. To qualify as DME under Medicare, a piece of equipment or device must have an expected lifespan of about 3 years with repeated home use and serve a strictly medical purpose.
Expendable medical supplies such as bandages, masks, and rubber gloves are not considered DME under Medicare.