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How to rent a hospital bed

Renting a hospital bed is a cost-effective way for individuals to obtain medical beds for the home when the bed is only necessary for a short time.

Hospital beds are rented through medical supply companies and are often covered by insurance or Medicare. To be approved for coverage, however, the bed must be deemed medically necessary and be prescribed by a physician.

Speak to your physician about renting a hospital bed for your home. Factors that you'll want to consider before contacting medical supply companies include: how long the hospital bed will be needed, the best type of hospital bed for your needs and any additional equipment that may also be necessary. Mattresses, for example, are sold or rented separately from the hospital beds.

Contact your insurance company to ask whether they cover the rental of medically necessary hospital beds. Medicare Plan B does cover hospital bed rentals, but the bed must be properly prescribed by a physician. A "Certificate of Medical Necessity" must also be filled out by the prescribing doctor and filed with Medicare.

Talk to Medicare or your private health insurer to determine if there are any medical supply companies that they recommend. For Medicare coverage, hospital beds must be rented through a supplier that is enrolled in Medicare and has a Medicare number. You can also speak to your doctor or caregiver for recommendations on medical supply companies in the area that rent hospital beds.

Call medical supply companies in your area and inquire about renting a hospital bed, mattress and any other equipment that your doctor has deemed necessary. When renting a bed, make sure that you specify whether you are looking for a manual or an electric bed. Other information to find out includes the rental cost, whether they have a "rental cap" that will allow you to purchase the bed if you need it longer than expected and their policy regarding repair and maintenance of the bed. If possible, look for a company that will cover periodic maintenance or repairs to the hospital bed as part of the rental agreement.

Make sure that you follow the procedure for renting the bed as directed by your insurance company or Medicare to ensure that your coverage is not denied. Regardless of how reputable or large the business is where you're renting your bed from, Medicare will deny coverage if the company is not Medicare approved.