Thursday, July 8, 2010

DME (Durable Medical Equipment)

I had no idea this was so prevalent until it happened to me and of course, me being the inquisitive sort and having a medical background, I started observing and questioning the need for what I was seeing being supplied to the patient.

DME or durable medical equipment is the term given to braces, splints, wheelchairs, etc. These things are ordered by your doctor as needed. Apparently, these things are a big money maker for some physicians. Sometimes it's not about what you "need" but what they can net from ordering and charging your insurance company or medicare.

I searched and searched the Internet for hours and hours and eventually I hit upon the right term to find information on this and that term is Durable Medical Equipment. Searching under "medical supplies billed to patient" didn't work. I used many search terms until eventually I found the DME which explained much of what has happened to me lately. Clearly it is stated in a legal determination that the doctor should offer alternatives to the patient ie. prices and places to get the equipment needed at a better price if available.

The link I have supplied at the beginning of this post describes how medicare was supposed to work. People complaining about it being ineffective need to know the "why" of this. Everyone (doctors,suppliers, etc) have dipped into this agency for everything they could scam out of it. They count on the majority of the population to not recognize when they are being used to deplete illegally these government offered medical relief to it's citizens. The patients don't question as the services offered are being charged to medicare. The privately insured don't question as it is being charged to their insurance company. The uninsured are beginning to question.
Though I have insurance, it is limited to inpatient and outpatient hospital care. This makes me question everything the doctors propose which doesn't make for a happy doctor. They aren't accustomed to being questioned though they are quick to get you to sign agreement for each service. They are quick to present you with this document should you question later the charges.

Who is to fault? I find that much fault lies with the consumer. If everybody had to pay cash, no insurance involved, you can bet we would be comparison shoppers; we would question what we were being told to buy; we would research, question and compare. Would we pay 595.00 for a frac boot when the procedure was to remove bunions? to pin a broken toe? Wouldn't we question the need? My sister in law in Arizona had to take her daughter to the doctor for a broken ankle. The doctor ordered a frac boot for 350.00 (same boot my doctor uses). Sister in law informed the doctor she had no insurance and couldn't afford the 350.00. The doctor dropped the charges to 150.00 and he still made a profit of almost 100.00!!!

My wish would be to have the medical consumer wake up a bit. Watch, research and question that physician. They are NOT a god.

The next time you want to complain about paying into this agency and it going broke, look around you and identify who and why have caused this to happen.

1 comment:

  1. What is very important is we just be careful with the review of that online store

    durable medical supplies


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