People who suffer from neurological disorders are sometimes prescribed neurostimulators to ease pain caused by damage to the somatosensory system and maintain wellness. There are hundreds of different conditions that might require this equipment, but the most common include:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
- Parkinson's disease
- Brain injuries
- Brain tumors
What is a rechargeable neurostimulator?
A rechargeable neurostimulator is a small device that is surgically placed beneath the clavicle or another nearby area. It delivers electrical signals through wires to the spinal column, and those signals create a feeling of tingling to the affected part of the body. Essentially, this blocks that area from communicating to the brain that it feels pain. Someone with a neurostimulator can usually change the strength of the signals with a handheld control. This is useful if you feel more pain during certain activities, like running or sleeping. It also comes with a programming device that allows your physician to change the intensity and location that the device affects.
While non-rechargeable neurotransmitters typically run on batteries that must be replaced regularly, rechargeable ones have long-lasting batteries that only need to be replaced every nine years or so. When your power runs low, you can recharge using a wireless charger.
Is it covered by Medicare?
Neurostimulators are categorized as durable medical equipment and they are covered by Medicare. Your Part B plan will pay for 80 percent of the cost. You must take care of the other 20 percent. Part of the cost of the surgical procedure is also covered by Medicare.
How do I qualify for coverage?
To be eligible for coverage of a rechargeable neurotransmitter through Medicare Part B, you must obtain a prescription from a physician who is part of the national health care program and who determines that you have a neurological disorder that requires neurostimulation therapy to reduce pain. Additionally, the prescription must specify that you require a rechargeable device as opposed to a non-rechargeable one. A piece of equipment that can be recharged may be necessary if the procedure required to replace the batteries regularly would be dangerous to your health.
Where do I get one?
You can obtain a rechargeable neurotransmitter through a durable medical equipment supplier. That provider must be approved by Medicare. Additionally, you must have the cost of the product approved before you purchase your device or you may be held responsible for the entire price of the product during pick-up.