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The standard definition of Durable Medical Equipment used by insurance companies is:Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is any equipment that provides therapeutic benefits to a patient in need because of certain medical conditions and/or illnesses. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) consists of items which:
are primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose;
are not useful to a person in the absence of illness, disability, or injury;
are ordered or prescribed by a physician;
can stand repeated use, and
are appropriate for use in the home.
Similar criteria are used by Medicare and Medicaid.
(n) The term "durable medical equipment" includes iron lungs, oxygen tents, Nebulizers, CPAP, catheters, transfer benches, hospital beds, Patient lifts, transfer or stretcher chairs, and wheelchairs (which may include a power-operated vehicle that may be appropriately used as a wheelchair, but only where the use of such a vehicle is determined to be necessary on the basis of the individual's medical and physical condition and the vehicle meets such safety requirements as the Secretary may prescribe) used in the patient's home (including an institution used as his home other than an institution that meets the requirements of subsection (e)(1) of this section or section 1819(a)(1)), whether furnished on a rental basis or purchased, and includes blood-testing strips and blood glucose monitors for individuals with diabetes without regard to whether the individual has Type I or Type II diabetes or to the individual's use of insulin (as determined under standards established by the Secretary in consultation with the appropriate organizations); except that such term does not include such equipment furnished by a supplier who has used, for the demonstration and use of specific equipment, an individual who has not met such minimum training standards as the Secretary may establish with respect to the demonstration and use of such specific equipment. With respect to a seat-lift chair, such term includes only the seat-lift mechanism and does not include the chair.