Tag Archives: What does Medicare Cover with Durable Medical Equipment?

Which walker is right for you?

When it comes to walkers and canes I have to admit that I’m a nerd. I have been known to stop people at Costco and church and refit their ill ‘fitting walkers and canes they have  purchased on the internet or at another medical supply. When it comes to fitting a walker, the key thing to remember is the handgrips need to at the level of the hip joint. If it is too high, it can get away from the customer. If the walker is too low, it promotes bad posture.
One of the most common features one can add to a walker is wheels. In fact, I would say about 95% of our walkers we dispense at Howard’s has wheels because it makes it much easier to propel. If you are not sure whether or not wheels is right, it is best to talk to your doctor or physical/occupational therapist who is familiar with if they are right for the patient’s current mobility situation.

Canes, crutches and walkers are designed to add stability and increased independence. Many people do not know that once someone is at a high risk of falls and lacks the coordination with a walker with wheels then a walker with wheels SHOULD NOT BE USED! At this point, it is strongly recommend the patient move to a wheelchair because of the level of risk.

Unfortunately, I can tell you several stories of people who were fine with walkers but only switched to a wheelchair after a fall instead of before the fall. If you or a loved one is becoming unstable, don’t wait until after the fall where a hip has been broken.
One does not need a prescription to get a walker at Howard’s; however, if they would like us to bill their insurance for a walker, we have to have one ahead of time and most insurance will cover walkers as long as they have not previously purchased one in the previous five years or previously purchased a wheelchair, scooter, or power wheelchair.
With the advent of the internet I have to admit that someone can purchase a walker cheaper on sites such as amazon or other online medical supply stores. One of the benefits of shopping at your local Selah or Yakima DME (durable medical equipment) store such Howard’s is we will offer the proper instruction on the use of the item. We usually also offer a 15-day trial (if the item is brought back in new condition). We also offer a one-year warranty if something needs to be fixed or brakes tightened that first year.

Walkers range in price from $59.99 from your standard grade aluminum folding walker up to $399.99 for a European walker with suspension system. We also have a whole lot in between with big wheels, small wheels, new, used, pink, green, blue . . . you get the point?
The picture with this blog is the rolling rollator with 8” wheels with seat, brakes and basket. It retails for $179.99 but is usually covered by your insurance.

If you have any question regarding walkers, give us a call at 509-654-9899. As Forrest Gump’s friend “Bubba” knew of hundreds of different way to prepare shrimp, we at Howard’s have almost a hundred different kinds of walkers to sell or rent (this is an exaggeration but it is still about ten different kinds in our store and including drop-ship options and colors is over one-hundred).

Walk upright, Erik (team lead Howard’s)

What does Medicare Cover with Durable Medical Equipment?

I get the question daily, what does Medicare cover in regards to durable medical equipment. The general rule of thumb is Medicare stops at your front door and your bathroom door. They will pay for a wheelchair, walker, hospital bed, oxygen, and other items imperative to daily living. Unfortunately they will not pay for two items in the same classification such as a walker and a wheelchair (they think that if you use one, you don’t need the other). Medicare also changes their rules frequently so if you have any questions, give us a call at Howard’s Medical in Yakima and Selah at 654-9899.