Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) www.burr.senate.gov and Michael Bennet (D-CO) www.bennet.senate.gov have introduced the “Patient Access to Disposable Medical Technology Act of 2015” that would fix current federal policy that keeps Medicare patients from receiving the most cutting-edge medical technologies.
Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment (DME) benefit provides seniors with access to certain medical technologies, However, the definition of DME is decades old and does not provide the flexibility to address recent medical innovations that can be easier to use and less expensive.
Since these new products are disposable, they can’t be considered durable under the current Medicare statute, and therefore are not covered. As a result of the outdated language, in some cases Medicare patients are denied the product best suited to their needs.
The legislation would modernize Medicare DME policy by requiring Medicare to cover DME that would not necessarily be covered. It provides a clear path for access to DME technologies and encourages future innovation of DME products to help advance cost effective easy to use products for patients served by the Medicare program.