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How To Get A Hospital Bed Through Medicaid (2023): Your Complete Guide

By Maurice

How To Get A Hospital Bed Through Medicaid

To get a hospital bed through Medicaid, you must have a prescription from a Medicaid-approved physician and meet specific medical criteria. But what’s the answer to how to get a hospital bed through medicaid, and what else should you know? Join us as we demystify the Medicare and Medicaid requirements for basic bed, helping you rest easier with the support you need.

Understanding Durable Medical Equipment Coverage Through Medicaid

When navigating the process of acquiring a hospital bed through Medicaid, understanding what a standard hospital bed falls under the umbrella of durable medical equipment (DME) is crucial. DME is a category in healthcare that covers equipment meant to assist patients with therapeutic benefits due to certain medical conditions or illnesses. A hospital bed is classified as DME because it provides the necessary support and positioning required for patients with specific medical needs.

Eligibility Criteria for DME Coverage

To qualify for DME coverage under Medicaid, the equipment must be deemed medically necessary and prescribed by a healthcare provider. Medicaid defines Durable Medical Equipment as items that are primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, can withstand repeated use, and are appropriate for use in the home.

  • Medical Necessity: The hospital bed must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and deemed necessary for the patient’s specific medical condition.
  • Medicaid’s Definition of DME: To be covered, the item must:
    • Serve a medical purpose.
    • Withstand repeated use, typically with a minimum three-year life expectancy.
    • Be suitable for use in the home.
  • Clinical Need for a Hospital Bed: The patient must demonstrate a need for features not available in a standard bed, such as:
    • Special positioning to alleviate pain, promote healing, or prevent bedsores.
    • The ability to adjust the bed’s height and surface for treatment or care purposes.
    • Accommodations for medical equipment attachments.
  • Supporting Documentation: Applications must include:
    • A physician’s prescription.
    • A comprehensive medical justification detailing the necessity of a hospital bed over a standard bed.
    • Evidence that the bed will aid in the patient’s treatment or significantly improve their condition.
  • State-Specific Criteria: Requirements can vary, so it is crucial to:
    • Check with the local Medicaid office for additional forms or documentation.
    • Follow any specific procedures outlined by the state’s Medicaid program.

Types of Hospital Beds Covered by Medicaid

Medicaid recognizes that different patients have varying needs home hospital beds, and as such, covers several types of hospital beds under the durable medical equipment (DME) classification. Here’s a breakdown of the options typically covered:

  • Manual Hospital Beds: Operated with hand cranks to adjust bed height and positioning, suitable for patients without a need for frequent position changes.
  • Semi-Electric Hospital Beds: Feature electric controls for raising and lowering the head and foot sections, with manual height adjustment—a balance of convenience and simplicity.
  • Fully Electric Hospital Beds: Offer complete electric adjustment for bed height and positioning, ideal for patients who require frequent adjustments due to their medical condition.
  • Specialty Beds: Including bariatric beds for heavier patients, and beds with pressure-relieving mattresses for those at risk of bedsores.

For each type twin bed, Medicaid coverage is contingent upon the bed being:

  • Prescribed by a Medicaid-approved physician.
  • Deemed as medically necessary and included in the plan of care.
  • Sourced from a Medicaid-approved DME supplier.

Steps to Ensure Your Hospital Bed is Covered

Ensuring your hospital bed is covered by Medicaid involves a few critical steps:

  • Consult Your Physician: Begin with a thorough medical evaluation to ascertain the necessity of a hospital bed for your condition.
  • Secure a Prescription: Obtain a detailed prescription from your doctor, specifying the type of hospital bed required and the medical reasons for it.
  • Choose a Medicaid-Approved Supplier: Select a supplier that is recognized by Medicaid to avoid issues with coverage.
  • Understand Prior Authorization: Some states require prior authorization for DME. Familiarize yourself with this process to ensure timely approval.
  • Submit the Necessary Documents: Provide your Medicaid-approved supplier with the doctor’s prescription and any additional required documentation.
  • Follow Up: Keep in contact with your supplier to stay informed about the status of your claim and address any follow-up requests from Medicaid promptly.

Tips for Working With DME Suppliers

When securing a hospital bed through Medicaid, working efficiently with DME suppliers is key. Here are some streamlined tips for a smoother experience:

  • Research Thoroughly: Before committing, research suppliers to ensure they’re Medicaid-approved and have a positive reputation for quality service and products.
  • Verify Approval:
    • Confirm that the supplier is authorized by Medicaid to provide DME.
    • Double-check that the hospital bed you need is among the DME items they offer.
  • Understand the Coverage:
    • Discuss with the supplier what Medicaid covers, including any potential costs you might incur.
    • Ask about the process for upgrades or additional features and their cost implications.
  • Documentation is Key:
    • Ensure the supplier has a complete set of required documents from your healthcare provider to avoid delays.
    • Keep personal copies of all paperwork submitted.
  • Plan for Delivery and Setup:
    • Coordinate the delivery time to ensure you or a caregiver is present.
    • Inquire if the supplier provides installation services and if there’s a guide for proper bed maintenance.

Will Medicaid Pay for a Hospital Bed?

Before we go any further, it’s important to mention this: Medicaid is funded by both state and federal governments but run entirely by the states. This means that what applies to a senior living in Minnesota may not necessarily be true for a senior in Washington

So, before you start to make plans based on the answers in this article, be sure to confirm your state’s Medicaid guidelines. Medicaid is notoriously confusing, and it always pays to double-check!

The short answer to this question is yes, Medicaid will pay for a hospital bed. There are many nuances to that answer, though – Medicaid only pays for certain covers hospital beds, in certain situations, for certain patients.

Medicaid and Medicare both provide coverage for products categorized as Durable Medical Equipment (DME). These products must be made for a specific medical purpose, last more than 3 years in normal circumstances, and be used in the home. Hospital beds meet all of those requirements, which means that Medicaid will cover them in most cases.

If you are on Medicaid, you likely already know that the amount of money you pay out of pocket is directly related to your household income. If you make little to no money, you receive coverage at little to no cost.

When you are approved for a hospital bed through Medicaid, you will know how much you will pay (if anything) out of pocket, and how much Medicaid will cover. Depending on your state’s policies, you may receive this payment as a reimbursement, or Medicare may purchase the bed on your behalf.

If you qualify for a hospital bed through Medicaid, it can take up to 8 weeks to get your bed from start to finish. The application, approval, and purchasing process is slow, but the amount of money you save makes it more than worth it!

What Kind of Hospital Bed Does Medicaid Pay For?

Medicaid does not have a well-defined limit on the kinds of medical supplies and beds you can have covered, but they do have rules about where those beds come from – they must come from an approved and participating provider of medical products.

“Approved” means that the manufacturer or seller is accredited by a third-party organization. This ensures that both seniors and the government are not taken advantage of by providers that jack up prices or compromise on quality.

“Participating” means that the provider has done all the necessary paperwork to accept payments from Medicaid. It’s a lot like the “in-network/out of network” headaches you’re used to with doctor’s offices: if they aren’t in the network, you can’t get it covered.

If you are concerned about how you will find these providers, there is no need to worry. In most cases, your doctor or your local Medicaid office will know exactly who does and does not participate in Medicaid in your area.

What Do I Need in Order To Get a Hospital Bed on Medicaid?

We’ve mentioned what requirements a product needs to meet in order to be categorized as DME, but what do seniors need to be to be approved for a hospital bed on Medicaid?

First and foremost, you must be a Medicaid patient. If you are not already enrolled in Medicaid, head here to apply in your state.

Second, you must demonstrate a true medical need for the bed. For example, if you are bedridden and your condition requires a reclining/sleeping posture that a normal bed cannot replicate, and you are going to be in this condition for at least 30 days, you will most likely be approved.

How do you know you truly need a hospital bed? This can be determined while you fulfill the next requirement for getting a hospital bed: a doctor’s prescription.

You must obtain a prescription from a doctor who evaluates your condition and determines that you do in fact need the hospital bed. Sometimes, this happens as part of your normal treatment and discharge at a hospital. In other cases, however, you’ll have to schedule a doctor’s visit and make your case.

Once you get your prescription, you are qualified for a hospital bed and can begin the process of applying for and choosing your home hospital bed!

How to be Approved for a Hospital Bed on Medicaid – Pro Tips

Be Thorough at the Doctor

Your doctor is on your side – the only party in this process who stands to gain from denying your request is Medicaid (so they can save money). Be thorough with your doctor, explaining everything that is going on so that they have a full picture of your condition. The better they can understand what you are going through, the more likely it is that you’ll get the prescription you need!

Be Proactive When Applying

The sooner you act, the better your chances are. Think about it: you must demonstrate a need for a hospital bed for at least the next 30 days. If your health issues aren’t permanent, you need to get the ball rolling on this process as soon as you can so that you are still in need of the bed for more than 30 days.

Be Patient When Waiting

This is less of a tip on how to be approved and more advice on how to survive the waiting process. It can take weeks for this process to go from start to finish, frustrating some Medicaid patients and worrying others. That’s why it’s important to remain patient – oftentimes, nothing is wrong with your application other than the fact that it’s making its way through a large bureaucracy!

Consider Renting Short-Term

If you need a hospital bed both permanently and urgently, you might not want to wait around for your paperwork to make its way through the Medicaid system. If you are in that boat, and you have a bit of extra cash, you may want to rent a different hospital bed for a few weeks. That way, you have what you need right now, and you can swap it out when your request is finally approved!

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Hospital Bed Through Medicaid

What are the eligibility requirements for getting a hospital bed through Medicaid?

To qualify for a hospital bed through Medicaid, a physician must prescribe the bed as medically necessary, and you must meet your state’s specific Medicaid criteria. Eligibility can vary, so consulting with your local Medicaid office is vital.

Will Medicaid cover the full cost of the hospital bed?

Typically, Medicaid covers the entire cost of a medically necessary hospital bed, as long as it comes from an approved supplier. The exact coverage details can depend on your state’s Medicaid rules and the type of often used hospital bed being prescribed.

Can I choose any hospital bed I want with Medicaid?

Medicaid has a list of approved hospital beds that are considered durable medical equipment (DME). You’re usually required to choose from these approved options to ensure that part b the cost is covered.

What if I have Medicare and Medicaid?

If you’re enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, Medicare will often cover the cost of the hospital bed as DME. Medicaid may then cover any remaining co-payments or deductibles, ensuring little to no out-of-pocket expense for you.

How long does it take for Medicaid to approve a hospital bed?

The approval process for a hospital bed through Medicaid can vary in length. It’s important to communicate with your equipment supplier, who will submit the claim on your behalf, to understand the expected timeframe.

Do I need to return the hospital bed to Medicaid if I no longer need it?

In most cases, your insurance or Medicaid will rent the hospital bed to you, which means it should be returned when not medically necessary. Check the terms of your rental agreement for specifics.

Can I get a hospital bed for at-home use through Medicaid?

Yes, Medicaid provides coverage for hospital beds for home use, given that a doctor prescribes it and it’s medically justified for your condition.

What documentation is needed to apply for a hospital bed through Medicaid?

You’ll need a doctor’s prescription and potentially other medical documentation that supports the necessity for a hospital bed. Your medical equipment supplier can assist with compiling the required paperwork.

Are there any specific brands or types of hospital beds that Medicaid does not cover?

Medicaid may not cover certain brands or types of hospital beds, particularly if they feature non-essential amenities. The program focuses on cost-effective and medically necessary equipment.

How can I find a Medicaid-approved supplier for hospital beds?

Your physician, hospital discharge planner, or local Medicaid office can provide a list of approved DME suppliers. Additionally, you can use the online resources and services provided by your state’s Medicaid program to locate approved providers.


Are you ready to start on your paperwork and schedule your doctor’s appointment to get a hospital bed through Medicaid? Why or why not? Leave your questions, comments, and concerns in the box below!

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3 thoughts on “How To Get A Hospital Bed Through Medicaid (2023): Your Complete Guide”

  1. Need and Electrical Hospital bed that can be covered by Medicaid & Medicare. I am a Bedbound patient and I will be living with my daughter who will be my caregiver. Per doctor’s orders I will most definitely be in need of a hospital bed due to severity of my condition as a elderly patient. I do have Medicaid and Medicare as well. Please advise. Thank you.

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