What Is DME? An Explanation Of Durable Medical Equipment

What is DME?

DME is an acronym that refers to multiple, individual items.  It stands for durable medical equipment.

Durable medical equipment refers to all medical devices used in the home to assist in the quality of living.

Common examples of DME would include wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other mobility devices. More uncommon examples would be oxygen concentrators, nebulizers or iron lungs.

Durable medical equipment is a huge part of the medical industry.  Not only does DME refer to the tools that help people get better, but also the tools that help them maintain their quality of life.

Without canes, walkers or wheelchairs for example, the quality of life of many people would be severely reduced. Durable medical equipment is always evolving and finding new ways to improve.

Usually the term DME refers to all medical devices covered by insurance companies.

If someone asks you “what is DME” you can answer in a nutshell, any medical equipment covered by an insurance company.

What isn’t considered DME?

It’s pretty easy to identify DME; if it’s disposable then it doesn’t fall under durable medical equipment.

Equipment like bandages, gloves, swabs and needles are not considered durable medical equipment since they are one use only.

Although some people may need these items for care at home, most insurance companies don’t consider disposable items DME.  If the item is “durable” then there’s a good chance it falls under DME.

For an item to be considered DME it needs to be approved and recommend by a physician for your care. It also needs to be usable in your home and it needs to directly address your illness or injury.

Any equipment that provides you physical, emotional or therapeutic benefits can be qualified as durable medical equipment.  Even service animals can be qualified as DME!

Similar terms:

  • DME: Durable Medical Equipment
  • HME: Home Medical Equipment
  • DMEPOS: Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies

What is DME? Here are some examples:

An oxygen concentrator review

Home oxygen safety guidelines

A commode review

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