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It seems my mom needs a hospital bed. I have an Rx from her Primary Care Provider. I was wondering about the best way to go about getting her one. Rental? Buying? Type (electrical verses manual)?

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The social worker in my mom's rehab told me that hospital beds are now paid for by Medicare only in special circumstances -- and the 20% deductible always applies. So I found a charity which loans/gives them away free. Any type of service that deals with home care -- nursing agency, home care agency, physical therapist -- may know of charities in your area; that is how I found out about the one we used.
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caregivingstuff: From Medicare.gov:
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers hospital beds as durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home.
Who's eligible?

All people with Part B are covered.
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My mother had an electric twin hospital bed provided by Medicare. Call around and check with a couple of different medical supply stores. Find the one you like the best. The first we had delivered was manual and we sent it back. We had to go to another supplier. The second one also contacted the dr for us to get the memory foam mattress. She also had a gel mattress. She used the bed for several years and we changed the topper a few times. Some paid for by Medicare. Some private pay as we would look for something to make the bed more comfortable. As it turned out, she seldom used the control to move the bed once she found the position that worked the best. The way it worked for payment was her Medicare account was charged an amount each month. The supply rep explained that if she kept it for 24 months ( not sure if that is correct number of months) then the bed would belong to her. It's the same with wheelchairs. She had it longer than the rental period so it all belonged to her. If something went wrong with the bed, the supply store would send their repair person out ( while it was on the initial 24 months). So they replaced the gel mattress once during this time. Medicare has a set time frame for when items can be replaced. Three years for a bedside commode, Etcetera. Find a good Medicare medical supply and they will help you get what you need. Not all the beds are the same quality and they are not all new. So ask about the choices when you call.
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1) Ask your family doctor 2) lookup hospital bed rentals. If you are still stumped, reply back your city / state and I will find a local supplier. I know of 2 in the North NJ area,
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I asked doc about getting a bed for my mom and he made the calls to the medical supply store. They delivered and set up and we never paid one dime. About 3 yrs in the remote broke and at that point the medical supply store said that we owned the bed. Looked online and found a new remote and it worked with no problems. I also used a very large memory foam topper on top of the mattress supplied. Then received a second bed from hospice for downstairs and didn't like the mattress so we used a memory foam mattress. Bent very easily and we had no problems.
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If person needing bed will have a long stay in bed, consider getting the massage covering to prevent bed sores. I know, My mom developed one within 1 week after not having one. She has been in bed for 12-18 months with only 1 problem.
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I haven't worked for five years so prices may be higher. I called a local med. equuipment supplier and asked what the cost of thee bed was, lets say $1000. The price to rent was $100. What comes in to play is how long u will need it. If more than 10 months then purchase it. If u have a perscription find out what Medicare will allow and her supplimental. Then go from there.
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Daddy's was prescribed by his dr and I am sure mother just called a medical supply place. They weigh a ton, so it had to be delivered and installed. She opted for the manual one and now knowing how hard that was on her to manually operate--she'd get the electric one. Also, dad had a grab bar installed in the ceiling (the apt had been built with his future needs in mind, so the ceiling support was fine).....be forewarned these beds are huge--altho a "single" in size, dad's took up much of the bedroom space.

Also be sure to learn how to help get your patient out of the bed. It is more difficult than a regular bed, as it can he higher, etc. Mother had to learn some techniques to keep from injuring herself trying to maneuver daddy.
All in all, tho the arrival of the hospital bed also signaled the end of dad's life, it was a lifesaver for those of us who cared for him. He couldn't fall out of it, he could roll himself from side to side using the rails and he could raise and lower the bed, helping to relieve pressure points.
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FriendlyBedGuy, You are correct, they were concerned with the caregivers become injured getting her out of bed. The bed I had for her was only a twin, but it had a memory foam mattress on top of the base. I had gotten a bed cane for her. I don't want to say more because this is not my thread. Thank you for your comments.
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Actually I said "often they do very little". People that need to grab onto something to stand themselves up (and maintain their balance) would be better served having a balance pole to use. Even with the head of the bed rising many people still cannot raise themselves and pivot their body over the mattress- a trapeze may be more valuable. Even if the cheap hospital bed has bedrails often they are not sturdy enough to trust. Disgusted- sorry to hear your mother was forced into a hospital bed vs. the comfortable/wider adjustable bed she apparently had. In many cases a hospital bed is used for the sake of the caregiver- there is greater risk of injury in reaching out across a wide bed to roll someone over or otherwise help them. Much depends on the situation as there may be better "solutions" available instead of a hospital bed. Always glad to offer suggestions.
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My mother's hospice provider insisted that she have one despite that fact that I already had a bed in her room that would raise and lower at the head and foot of the bed. Her only issue was mobility, so it's interesting to read that Friendly Bed Guy says they do very little for mobility issues. I was opposed to it because it did not seem very comfortable and I spent a lot of money on a nice bed for her only a year prior. I had no choice in the matter they said if you won't agree to a hospital bed to help with getting her in and out of bed, we are going to make her bed bound. My hand was forced. I do worry if she is comfortable or not, she can't speak to tell me. Sorry if this is off-topic.
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Is your mother on hospice? why would she need a hospital bed? If she is on hospice they will be certain that she will get one. Medicare pays for hospice.
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The last I heard was that Medicare would only pay for a semi-electric version. If you wanted the electric up/down it was an upcharge. You would also be responsible for the 20% co-pay. Hospital beds are often needed for respiratory or circulatory issues but many people mistakenly believe they are a solution for mobility problems- often they do very little. In addition we hear from people all the time complaining how uncomfortable the cheap hospital bed is and how happy they would be to get back into their wide, comfortable bed again. For some people to remain sleeping with their bed partner (despite mobility problems) is their #1 goal. My point is that every situation is different- "getting a hospital bed" has always been the fallback answer that people hear about but it is not always the perfect solution.
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Contact one of your local Medical Supply Co, and let them know that you have a prescription for a bed. They will handle it or refer to someone that will handle it. If you are on Medicare you can contact Medicare and they will tell you who to contact ref. the bed.
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Hospice arranged a hospital bed at no charge for my mom.
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This was in 2013
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Medicare paid for my Moms bed, and I think we made payments. The company we bought it from brought it (it was very heavy) to her home, and then to the home, no charge. It had a remote and the bed moved up and down at the push of a button.I left it at the home for them to use when my mother left for Genesis.
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Usually the prescribing physician makes the arrangements. You might ask his/her office if there's a nurse or staff who handles this, someone who's familiar with DMEs and select a reliable one for you. Or you could do research yourself on DMEs, contact them, provide the script and order the bed.

Assuming your mother is on Medicare, and assuming the script provides justification, I believe Medicare would pay for the bed. That's how we got ours back in 2004. However, DME regulations have changed, and those governing hospital beds may have changed as well. You might want to contact Medicare or research on line to get more information.

As to the type, I assume that would be addressed in the prescription. I've only seen electric ones; I'm not familiar with manual ones. I would go for the electric; it's probably easier to work with, especially if your mother needs to raise any portion of the bed.
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