Medical Equipment & Devices

Overview

The least expensive, appropriate medical equipment and devices may be provided to specific recipients to assist with a medically essential need. There must be no other resources available to the client to provide the medical equipment requested. 

The ministry provides medical equipment and devices under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

For more information on medical equipment and devices, see Policy in this topic.

[For information on hearing and orthoses needs, see Related Links – Medical Equipment – Hearing Aids or Medical Equipment – Orthoses.]

Other programs and resources:

Supports and ServicesAssistive Technology

Information regarding other supports and services, including resources for assistive technology, can be found under Services for People with Disabilities.

WorkBC and Technology@Work

People with disabilities can access assistive technologies through WorkBC to help them find a job, or if they need a piece of equipment to keep working at their current job. WorkBC provides employment related:

  • assistive devices, equipment and technology
  • communication and hearing devices
  • ergonomic supports and other personal devices
  • interpreting and captioning services
  • workplace access and modification

More information on WorkBC services and supports for persons with disabilities can be found here: Work BC Advice for PWD

Technology@Work supports individuals that need assistive technology products and services to overcome disability-related barriers in the workplace. 

More information on Technology@Work can be found here: BC Technology@work

Policy

Effective:  October 1, 2012

Medical equipment and devices include only the following types of items:

  • canes
  • crutches
  • walkers
  • manual and power wheelchairs
  • wheelchair seating systems
  • scooters
  • toileting, transfers, and positioning aids
  • hospital beds and related items
  • pressure relief mattresses
  • floor or ceiling lift devices
  • positive airway pressure devices
  • apnea monitors
  • suction units
  • percussors
  • nebulizers
  • medical humidifiers
  • inhaler accessory devices
  • non-conventional glucose meters

[For information on eligibility for hearing aids and orthoses, see Related Links - Medical Equipment – Hearing Aids and Medical Equipment – Orthoses.]

Effective:  October 1, 2012

Medical equipment and devices for medically essential needs are available to clients who are eligible for general health supplements. [For information on eligibility for general health supplements, see Related Links - Health Supplement Summary.]

Clients who are eligible for general health supplements may request medical equipment and devices. A requested item must meet the following:

  • General Requirements for All Medical Equipment and Devices;

and
 

  • Specific Requirements for each Individual Type of Medical Equipment and Device.

General Requirements for All Medical Equipment and Devices

A client requesting medical equipment or devices must meet general requirements that apply to all medical equipment and devices:
 

  • there are no resources available to the family unit to pay the cost of or obtain the medical equipment or device;
  • the item is the least expensive, appropriate medical equipment or device;
  • the item must be prescribed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner; and/or the medical need must be confirmed by the assessment of a relevant therapist (occupational, physical, or respiratory therapist)

Note: a medical need for a positive airway pressure device must be prescribed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner and the medical need must be confirmed by a respiratory therapist
 

  • the request must be pre-approved by the ministry prior to purchase;

Note: the ministry will not accept payment responsibility, except in cases of a life-threatening emergency, for medical equipment purchased without prior approval.

Specific Requirements for each Individual Type of Medical Equipment and Device

In addition to meeting the general requirements for all medical equipment and devices, a client must also meet the specific requirements for the requested type of item:

Type of Item

Specific Requirements

Canes, Crutches, Walkers

  • the ministry is satisfied that the cane, crutch, walker or related accessory is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility

Manual and Power Wheelchairs

  • the ministry is satisfied that the wheelchair, upgraded component, or attached accessory is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility

Wheelchair Seating Systems

  • the ministry is satisfied that the wheelchair seating system or accessory is medically essential to achieve or maintain a person’s positioning in a wheelchair

Scooters (conventional and bariatric)

  • the ministry is satisfied that the scooter, upgraded component, or attached accessory is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility
  • the total cost of  a conventional scooter and any accessories does not exceed $3,500
  • if a bariatric scooter is required, an assessment from an occupational or physical therapist must confirm that the person’s body weight exceeds the weight capacity of a conventional scooter but can be accommodated by a bariatric scooter
  • the total cost of a bariatric scooter and any accessories does not exceed $4,500
  • an assessment by an occupational therapist or a physical therapist has confirmed that it is unlikely that the person for whom the scooter has been prescribed will have a medical need for a wheelchair during the 5 years following the assessment

Toileting, Transfers, and Positioning Aids

  • the aid is one of the following items:
    • a grab bar in a bathroom
    • a bath or shower seat
    • a bath transfer bench with hand held shower
    • a tub slide
    • a bath lift
    • a bed pan or urinal
    • a raised toilet seat
    • a toilet safety frame
    • a floor to ceiling pole in a bathroom or bedroom
    • a portable commode chair
    • a positioning chair for a person for whom a wheelchair is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility
    • a transfer aid (transfer board, transfer belt, or slider sheet) is medically essential to transfer a person from one position to another
    • a standing frame for a person whom a wheelchair is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility
  • the ministry is satisfied that the item is medically essential to:
    • facilitate toileting,
    • facilitate transfers, or
    • to achieve or maintain a person’s positioning

Hospital Beds and Related Items

  • includes the following items:
    • hospital bed
    • upgraded component of a hospital bed
    • attached accessory to a hospital bed
    • positioning item on a hospital bed
  • the ministry is satisfied that the item is medically essential to:
    • facilitate transfers of a person to and from bed, or
    • to adjust or maintain a person’s positioning in bed

Pressure Relief Mattresses

  • the ministry is satisfied that the pressure relief mattress is medically essential to prevent skin breakdown and maintain skin integrity

Floor or Ceiling Lift Devices

 

  • a floor or ceiling lift device means a device that stands on the floor or is attached to the ceiling that uses a sling system to transfer a person
  • the ministry is satisfied that the floor or ceiling lift device is medically essential to facilitate transfers of a person in a bedroom or a bathroom
  • the cost of the floor or ceiling lift device does not exceed $4,200, or if the cost of the floor or ceiling lift device does exceed $4,200, the ministry is satisfied that the excess cost is a result of unusual installation expenses

Positive Airway Pressure Devices

  • the ministry is satisfied that the positive airway pressure device or supply or accessory to operate the device is medically essential for the treatment of moderate to severe sleep apnea

Apnea Monitor

  • the ministry is satisfied that the apnea monitor, accessory, or supply is medically essential to monitor breathing

Suction Unit

  • the ministry is satisfied that the suction unit, accessory, or supply is medically essential for clearing respiratory airways

Percussor

  • the ministry is satisfied that the percussor, accessory, or supply is medically essential for clearing respiratory airways

Nebulizer

  • the ministry is satisfied that the nebulizer, accessory, or supply is medically essential to avoid an imminent and substantial danger to health
    • medically essential to avoid an imminent and substantial danger to health refers an immediate need for a nebulizer where, without the nebulizer, the person is at risk for compromised health.
    • For example:
      • To avoid a significant health risk, a person has been provided with medication by Pharmacare that cannot be delivered without a nebulizer.
      • A person with cystic fibrosis who requires hypertonic saline delivered by a nebulizer to avoid a significant health risk.

Medical Humidifier

  • the ministry is satisfied that the medical humidifier, accessory, or supply is medically essential to moisturize air in order to allow a tracheostomy patient to breathe

Inhaler Accessory Device (e.g. spacer)

  • the ministry is satisfied that the inhaler accessory device, accessory, or supply is medically essential to deliver medication

Non-Conventional Glucose Meter

  • includes the following items:
    • continuous glucose monitoring meter
    • a talking glucose meter
  • the ministry is satisfied that:
    • the item is medically essential to test blood glucose levels
    • the person is unable to use a conventional glucose meter

When clients no longer require the equipment and it cannot be exchanged or traded to meet a current need, they should be encouraged to donate the item to an agency that would benefit from that item.

Effective:  October 1, 2012

The ministry does not provide medical equipment and devices that do not meet the eligibility criteria above. For example:

  • walking poles
  • strollers
  • high performance wheelchair for recreational or sports use
  • scooters intended primarily for recreational or sports use
  • automatic turning beds
  • containment type beds
  • ventilators
  • lift chairs

Effective:  April 1, 2010

By regulation, the ministry is the payer of last resort and requires that all other available resources must first be considered before requesting funding. For income assistance and disability assistance clients, other resources include (but are not limited to) accessing medical equipment or funding through:
 

  • Other government programs or funding sources (e.g., Fair PharmaCare, Health Authorities, ICBC, WorkSafeBC, Veterans Affairs Canada)
  • Private insurance
  • Publicly subsidized residential care facilities (when it is the client’s place of residence). Clients living in facilities funded by the Ministry of Health are not eligible for medical equipment from the ministry. These needs must be met through the facility. Facility staff should be contacted to determine the funding source.

If there are other resources available, the individual is not eligible for medical equipment from the ministry.

Co-funding may be considered when other resources cannot pay the entire cost. For example, if an insurance company will pay $500 for an item that costs $1000, the ministry may consider funding the remaining $500 if all other eligibility criteria are met.

Note: When assessing medical equipment eligibility for income or disability assistance clients, exempt assets are not considered. When assessing other resources for persons with a life-threatening health need or persons who are medical services only, see Related Links – Life-Threatening Health Need and Medical Services Only.

Effective:  April 1, 2010

The following guidelines outline factors considered by the ministry when determining if medical equipment requests for canes, crutches, walkers, manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, or scooters are medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility. These guidelines assist ministry staff when reviewing the assessment provided by the client’s Occupational Therapist (OT) or Physical Therapist (PT) and/or the prescription provided by the client’s medical practitioner or nurse practitioner

“Medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility” refers to a client’s need for equipment due to a mobility impairment which is necessary to perform their day-to-day activities in their home and/or community.

Each equipment request is reviewed on an individual basis and the client’s needs are taken into consideration. If the factors suggest that the equipment is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility, and all other eligibility requirements have been met, the client is eligible for the requested equipment. 

Note: the information to be considered under each factor is not all-inclusive as it is important to preserve the discretion of the ministry decision maker and allow for flexibility to assess uncommon or unexpected circumstances.

When assessing the information provided to determine if the equipment is medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility, the two factors to be considered are:

Factor 1: The client’s mobility impairment

Information regarding the client’s mobility impairment provides the medical basis for the equipment and the reason why it is being requested. The mobility impairment may result from a number of different medical conditions that restrict the client’s functional ability. 

When considering this factor, the following information is reviewed:
 

  • The diagnosis provided by the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to assist in determining if it is reasonable to expect that there are limitations to mobility and whether the medical condition presented is likely to need equipment.
  • The assessment provided by the OT or PT to assist in determining the applicant’s level of functioning. This includes information regarding:
  • The cause of the equipment request.
  • How the client mobilizes and performs day-to-day activities in their home and/or community.
  • The client’s ability to mobilize once reaching a destination point.
  • Whether the medical condition would deteriorate without the equipment.
  • Physical skills or limitations (e.g., head control, range of motion, vision, ambulation, endurance, coordination and strength) in relation to the equipment requested. Safety issues may also be identified such as a risk of falling without a walker or not having sufficient hand functional ability to operate a power wheelchair.
  • Cognitive skills (e.g., visual spatial skills, judgement) in relation to the equipment request to identify if the client can safely use the equipment recommended.  

Factor 2: The equipment requested

The type of equipment requested is reviewed to confirm that due to a mobility impairment, the product and components are required for the client’s basic mobility. 

When considering this factor, the following information is reviewed:
 

  • Description of the recommended equipment that is being requested. 
  • The type and condition of the client’s present equipment (if applicable) to determine its appropriateness and why it is no longer meeting the needs of the client. This may indicate if repairs or modifications can be done to the existing equipment or if a replacement is needed.
  • The product specifications of each piece of equipment that has been trialed and the outcome of the trial to provide information regarding if the equipment recommended meets the client’s needs and is the most cost effective.
  • Details of the client’s immediate environment if it contributes to the need for the equipment or the type of equipment requested (e.g., narrow door frames may necessitate a specific model of walker or wheelchair; hilly terrain may necessitate a walker with brakes).
  • The adaptability of the equipment if the client’s functional status is likely to change to determine if the equipment is sustainable in meeting their anticipated needs. For example, is the requested mobility equipment able to accommodate future modifications such as specialized seating or upgraded electronics for sip and puff control?
  • Upgraded components may be considered if they are medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility.

Examples where a request may be considered medically essential to achieve or maintain basic mobility:
 

  • A client with multiple sclerosis experiences excessive fatigue, unsteadiness, and occasional falls. A walker is requested to prevent falls and provide stability
  • A client with cerebral palsy who experiences impaired motor control is requesting a scooter. The OT recommends a scooter instead of a power wheelchair as the client’s impairment is not likely to deteriorate and require custom seating in the near future. The client’s goal is to use the scooter for grocery shopping as she does not have sufficient mobility to walk to the store.
  • A manual wheelchair with a lighter weight frame is requested for a client. The information from the OT indicates that the lighter weight frame is required as the client cannot propel a heavier wheelchair due to ongoing shoulder injuries and pain. 

Examples where a request may not be considered medically essential for basic mobility:
 

  • The client does not have a medical condition or mobility impairment requiring equipment but wants a scooter.
  • A client with diabetes is requesting a scooter. Although the client has a medical condition, the information from the medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or OT indicate that the diabetes is controlled and there are no symptoms that impair the client’s mobility. 
  • A manual wheelchair with a lighter weight frame is requested for a client. Although the medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or OT indicate that the client needs a manual wheelchair, there is no reason identified why a lighter weight frame is required or why a manual wheelchair with a standard frame would not be sufficient. The client would be eligible for a manual wheelchair, but not the lighter weight frame.

Effective:  April 1, 2010

Sleep apnea occurs when a person regularly stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that the person stops breathing (apnea) or that airflow to the lungs is reduced.

The ministry will consider funding positive airway pressure devices when medically essential for treatment of moderate to severe sleep apnea based on information provided by the Respiratory Therapist. 

To determine whether sleep apnea is moderate to severe, ministry staff use guidelines determined by Ministry of Health [see Contacts – Ministry of Health].

Effective:  December 1, 2003

Recipients are responsible for providing required documentation. The ministry is not responsible for any fees associated with documentation.

Effective:  October 1, 2012

The ministry may consider repairing or replacing medical equipment due to the medical equipment being damaged, worn out, or not functioning. 

Repairs may be considered if all of the following are met:

  • It is more economical to repair, rather than replace, the medical equipment;
  • The medical equipment has not been damaged by misuse;
  • If the equipment was not previously provided by the ministry, all other eligibility requirements must be met (e.g., prescription, assessment).

Note: Repairs are not considered for wheelchairs, scooters, and attached seating that are under warranty. Upon the end of the warranty, the ministry may consider funding repairs. If power wheelchair or scooter batteries require replacement after the warranty expires, contracted service providers are not to charge over $450.00. [For more information, see below: Warranty on Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Attached Seating and Contracted Medical Equipment Service Providers].

Replacement may be considered if all of the following are met:

  • It is more economical to replace, rather than repair, the medical equipment;
  • The medical equipment has not been damaged by misuse;
  • The time period, if any, set out in the table below has passed.

Note: The replacement time period does not apply when an item is required due to changes in a person’s medical condition or growth.

Medical Equipment

Replacement Time Period

Canes, crutches, walkers

As needed

Manual and Power Wheelchairs

5 years

Wheelchair Seating Systems

2 years

Scooters (conventional and bariatric)

5 years

Toileting, Transfers, and Positioning Aids

5 years

Hospital Beds

5 years

Pressure Relief Mattresses

5 years

Floor or Ceiling Lift Devices

5 years

Positive Airway Pressure Devices

5 years

Accessories or supplies required to operate a positive airway pressure device

1 year

Apnea monitors, suction units, percussors, nebulizers, medical humidifiers

5 years

Inhaler Accessory Device (e.g. spacer)

1 year

Accessories or supplies required to operate an apnea monitor, suction unit, percussor, nebulizer, or medical humidifier

1 year

Non-conventional Glucose Meter

5 years

Effective:  March 27, 2015

In order to ensure the least expensive medical equipment and devices are funded, the ministry has a contract with medical equipment service providers throughout the province.

Contracted service providers are the supplier of choice when purchasing medical equipment and devices. However, when an item is not available, non-contracted service providers may be considered.

The contracted medical equipment service providers provide the following service as part of their contract:
 

  • Free assessment (fitting and trial of medical equipment). The ministry is not required to pay for the rental of equipment during the trial period, nor while a client’s application for funding is pending;
  • Free delivery, in home set up, and training on the use of the equipment;
  •  Two-year all inclusive service coverage on all parts and labour costs associated with repair, adjustments and fittings on eligible items (Power Wheelchairs, Manual Wheelchair, Scooters and Commercial Seating)
  • Free preventative maintenance at 12 and 24 months
  • 10-day new equipment delivery. Upon receipt of approval, the service provider will deliver all equipment to the client’s home or provide free suitable loaner equipment until such time as the ordered equipment can be supplied;
  • Free suitable loaner mobility devices while the mobility devices are being repaired or serviced during the coverage period.
  • A $450.00 maximum charge for replacement power wheelchair or scooter batteries. This includes the unit cost of 2 new batteries (minimum: G22 50 A/H) and all associated labour to complete the repair. Only new batteries will be accepted.
  • The ministry pays up to a maximum labour rate of $80 per hour (including non-contracted service providers).

Contracted medical equipment service providers (September 2014 – August 2016) are located in the following areas:

Name Locations Toll Free Email
Okanagan Thompson Caribou Shuswap
Advanced Mobility Products Kelowna 1-800-665-4442 info@advancedmobility.ca
Active Medical Equipment Kamloops 1-866-571-1456 Kamloops@activeme.com
  Penticton 1-877-570-1456 Penticton@activeme.com
PG Surg-Med Ltd. Vernon 1-800-663-2963 sales@pgsurgmed.com

Creative Mobility Products

Penticton

1-888-770-1777

info@creativemobility.ca

East Kootenay/Kootenay Boundary

Kootenay Columbia Home
Medical Equipment

Cranbrook

1-800-661-4022

cranbrook@kchomemedical.ca

 

Castlegar

1-866-515-7772

castlegar@kchomemedical.ca

Creative Mobility Products

Cranbrook

1-888-770-1777

info@creativemobility.ca

Lower Mainland

Regency Medical Supplies Ltd.

Burnaby

1-800-663-1012  

bill@regencymed.com

A1 Wheelchairs

Langley 1-800-665-0098 info@a-1wheelchairs.ca

BC Medequip Home Health Care

Burnaby

1-888-988-5882

info@bcmedequip.com

Abbey Medical Supplies

Abbotsford

1-800-251-8666

info@abbeymedicalsupplies.com

HME Mobility & Accessability

Richmond

1-844-821-0075

info@hmebc.com

SelfCare Home Health Products

Vancouver

1-888-252-9979

infovan@selfcarehome.com

 

North Vancouver

1-866-990-9422

infov@selfcarehome.com

Surrey

1-855-574-5801

infosurrey@selfcarehome.com

Macdonald's Home Health Care

Vancouver

1-866-631-1899

info@macdonaldshhc.com

1st Choice Mobility Products

Abbotsford

1-844-850-2344

1choicemobility@gmail.com

West Coast Mobility Surrey 1-855-598-4246 info@wcmobility.ca
Tri-City Home Medical Equipment Port Coquitlam 1-844-945-0980 info@tricityhomemedicalequipment.com
Ability in Motion Home
Medical Equipment Ltd.
Abbotsford 1-800-330-3988 admin@abilityinmotion.ca

Motion Specialties

Burnaby

1-800-565-9772

vancouver@motionspecialties.com

Advanced Mobility Products

Burnaby

1-800-665-4442

info@advancedmobility.ca

Vancouver Island

Life Support Assisted Living Systems   Parksville 1-800-224-8662  lifesupport-als@shaw.ca

Motion Specialties

Victoria

1-800-528-9553

victoria@motionspecialties.com

 

Sidney

1-800-528-9553

sidney@motionspecialties.com

Nanaimo

1-800-667-1406

nanaimo@motionspecialties.com

Duncan

1-800-667-1406

duncan@motionspecialties.com

Island Mediquip

Victoria

1-800-231-7188

ria@islandmediquip.com

 

Duncan

1-800-231-7188

kim@islandmediquip.com

Advanced Mobility Products

Nanaimo

1-800-665-4442

kim@advancedmobility.ca

Northern

North Coast Home Medical
Equipment

Terrace

1-866-638-1301

northcoast@nchme.com

MEDIchair Northern BC

Prince George

1-800-330-2772

princegeorge@medichair.com

PG Surg-Med

Prince George

1-800-663-2963

sales@pgsurgmed.com

Effective:  March 27, 2015

If a recipient lives in a remote area of the province, which is not readily served by a contracted service provider, the ministry may use a non-contracted service provider to purchase low cost equipment (e.g., basic ambulatory or bathing/toileting aids) or complete basic repairs to existing equipment outside of the two year service agreement period.

Note: Requests that require extensive labour or installation costs (complex repairs) should be completed by a contracted medical equipment service provider.

Effective:  December 6, 2010

Wheelchairs (power and manual), scooters and attached seating purchased through a contracted equipment service provider by Health Assistance Branch (HAB) will include a two-year, all-inclusive warranty. Repair costs are not to be provided for equipment that is under warranty.

The warranty includes the following:
 

  • All parts and labour costs associated with repair;
  • Adjustments and fittings;
  • Any costs associated with wear and tear or maintenance (e.g. covers flat tires, battery replacement for powered device);
  • All freight and travel costs.

Clients receiving a new piece of warranted equipment from HAB will be required to sign the Equipment Care and Responsibility Letter at the time of delivery. This letter outlines the client’s responsibilities for proper care and maintenance of the equipment. The medical equipment service provider will complete this task and submit the letter directly to HAB.

Procedures 

Effective:  April 1, 2010

Clients requesting medical equipment must first be determined to be eligible for general health supplements. The following procedures must then be completed to assess eligibility for medical equipment and devices. [For procedures for other types of medical equipment, see Related Links – Medical Equipment – Hearing Aids and Medical Equipment – Orthoses.]

Persons who are not income assistance or disability assistance recipients but require medical equipment for a direct and imminent life-threatening health need must meet the eligibility criteria for Life-Threatening Health Needs before being assessed eligibility for medical equipment and devices [see Related Link – Life Threatening Health Needs].

The ministry is the payer of last resort and requires that all other available resources must first be considered before funding any requests. If there are other resources available, the individual is not eligible for medical equipment from the ministry. Co-funding may be considered when other resources cannot pay the entire cost [see Policy – No Other Resources].

Effective:  April 1, 2010

All requests (purchases, rentals, or repairs) for positive airway pressure equipment must be assessed by Health Assistance Branch (HAB). To assess eligibility for positive airway pressure equipment, follow these steps:

EAW:

1.

Confirm that the applicant is eligible for general health supplements or has been approved under life-threatening health needs. [see Policy]

 

2.

Verify that there are no other resources available. [see Policy]

 

3.

Generate and complete Section 1 of the Medical Equipment Request and Justification (HR2138). 

 

4.

Advise the client to take the HR2138 to their medical practitioner or nurse practitioner for completion of Section 2 and a referral to a respiratory therapist for assessment and quote which is completion of Section 3.

The assessment should include a current baseline overnight oximetry (completed within the past six months) or polysomnogram (completed without CPAP or BIPAP) to demonstrate severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The ministry only funds CPAP or BIPAP for moderate to severe OSA.

 

5.

Forward the Service Request and all documents to HAB for adjudication.

HAB:

1.

Assess application and ensure that eligibility criteria are met.

 

2.

If approved, a letter will be issued to the client and a purchase authorization will be sent to the service provider. If denied, a letter and a decision summary outlining the reasons for the decision will be sent to the client.

 

3.

Make a note of all details. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Effective:  October 1, 2012

Applicants requesting medical equipment and devices must first be determined to be eligible for general health supplements or approved under life-threatening health needs. All other resources must first be considered before the ministry funds any payment of medical equipment and devices.

Under $500 – To assess a client’s eligibility for the purchase of medical equipment and devices under $500, follow these steps:

EAW:

1.

Confirm that the applicant is eligible for general health supplements or has been approved under life-threatening health needs. [see Policy]

 

2.

Verify that there are no other resources available. [see Policy]

 

3.

Ensure that the client has provided at least one of the following:

  • a prescription from a medical practitioner or a nurse practitioner, OR
  • a written assessment from an occupational therapist or a physical therapist that confirms the need for medical equipment under $500.

 

4.

Refer to policy and ensure eligibility criteria are met:

  • general eligibility criteria which applies to all medical equipment and devices; and
  • specific eligibility criteria for the requested eligible item.

 

5.

If eligibility criteria are met, provide payment using the Purchase Authorization on the Health Case  

 

6.

Record the details of the request. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Over $500 – Health Assistance Branch (HAB) will assess a client’s eligibility for the purchase of medical equipment and devices over $500, follow these steps:

EAW:

1.

Confirm that the applicant is eligible for general health supplements or has been approved life-threatening health needs. [see Policy]

 

2.

Verify that there are no other resources available. [see Policy]

 

3.

Generate and complete Section 1 of the Medical Equipment Request and Justification (HR2138).

 

4.

For all eligible medical equipment and devices except positive airway pressure devices (for positive airway pressure devices – see separate procedures above), advise the client to take the HR2138 to their medical practitioner or nurse practitioner for completion of Section 2 and to their occupational therapist or physical therapist for an assessment and quote which is completion of Section 3.

 

5.

Forward the Service Request and all documentation to HAB for adjudication.

HAB:

1.

Assess application and refer to policy to ensure eligibility criteria are met.

 

2.

If application is approved, an approval letter will be issued to the client and a purchase authorization will be sent to the service provider. If denied, a denial letter and decision summary outlining reasons for the decision will be sent to the client.

 

3.

Make a note of all details. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Note: If a diagnosis and prescription from a medical practitioner, or nurse practitioner and/or the assessment from the occupational therapist, physical therapist, or respiratory therapist are received before the HR2138 is completed, Section 1 must still be completed by the Employment and Assistance Office and forwarded with the supplemental documentation to HAB.

Effective:  October 1, 2012   

Note: All repairs for positive airway pressure devices (CPAP or Bi-level) are the sole responsibility of Health Assistance Branch (HAB).  

Under $500 – To assess a client’s eligibility for repairs to medical equipment and devices under $500, follow these steps:
 

  1. If the equipment is a wheelchair (power or manual), scooter, or attached seating, nsure that it is not under warranty.  Do not issue the Purchase Authorization if the item is under warranty.
  2. If unable to locate necessary warranty information, contact HAB.
     
  3. If repairs are requested from the original service provider and the Medical Equipment Request and Justification (HR2138) has been signed (which includes a release of information) the EAO may discuss the repairs with the service provider directly and notify the client.
  • If the equipment is covered under warranty, the service provider will proceed with the repairs as per the terms of the warranty.
  • If the equipment is no longer under warranty, a Purchase Authorization on the Health Case may be issued for repairs once necessary approvals are obtained.
  1. If repairs are requested by another service provider, an HR2138 would not have been signed; therefore the EAO should discuss the request with the client, not the service provider. If HAB has determined that the equipment is under warranty from another service provider, advise the client to contact the original service provider to do the repairs
  • If the equipment is not under warranty, the repairs may be issued with a Purchase Authorization on the Health Case.
  1. Ensure that the client has provided a written estimate for the repairs.
  • Note: There is a $450.00 maximum charge to replace power wheelchair or scooter batteries. This includes the unit cost of 2 new batteries (minimum: G22 50 A/H) and all associated labour to complete the repair.  Only new batteries will be accepted.
  1. Provide payment using the Purchase Authorization on the Health Case
     
  2. Make a note of the details of the request. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Over $500 – For repairs of medical equipment and devices over $500, follow these steps:

EAW

 

Forward the Service Request and documentation outlining the repairs needed and the estimated cost to HAB for review.

HAB

1.

Assess the application and ensure that eligibility criteria are met.

 

2.

If approved, a letter will be issued to the client and a purchase authorization will be sent to the service provider. If denied, a letter and a decision summary outlining the reasons for the decision will be sent to the client.

 

3.

Make a note of all details. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Effective:  April 1, 2010

Under $500 – To assess a client’s eligibility for emergency repairs and purchase of medical equipment and devices under $500, complete one of the following procedures, as appropriate:
 

  • Purchase of Medical Equipment and Devices: Under $500
  • Repairs of Medical Equipment and Devices: Under $500

Over $500 – To assess a client’s eligibility for emergency repairs and purchase of medical equipment and devices over $500, follow these steps:
 

  1. Ensure that the client has provided a written estimate for the repairs or purchase.
  2. Discuss with the Supervisor. The Supervisor must consult with Health Assistance Branch (HAB) to review options prior to giving approval for the proposed repairs. (HAB will confirm if the item is still under warranty.)
  3. Ensure that a Supervisor approval activity is in the system to issue payment for emergency repairs and purchase of medical equipment and devices over $500. 
  4. Provide payment using the Purchase Authorization on the Health Case.
  5. Make note of the request. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

Effective:  April 1, 2010

All rentals for positive airway pressure devices (CPAP or Bi-level) are the sole responsibility of Health Assistance Branch (HAB).

When equipment is rented, the service provider must be made aware that the recipient, not the ministry, is responsible for any damage to and for the return of the equipment. No deposits may be issued.

Less Than 60 Days – To assess a client’s eligibility for rentals of medical equipment and devices for less than 60 days, follow these steps:
 

1.    Ensure that the client has provided price estimates and a written prescription and diagnosis from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.

2.    If the monthly rental cost is under $250 and community resources (for example, Red Cross Loan Cupboard, Multiple Sclerosis Society, etc.) cannot meet the need, provide payment using the Purchase Authorization on the Health Case.   

3.    If the client is requesting a power wheelchair or scooter, consult with HAB to review the options prior to giving approval.

4.    Record the details of the request. Details include substantive reasons explaining what is requested and why the eligibility criteria are met (or not met). If the item is approved, include the cost of the item and the name of the service provider.

More Than 60 Days – To assess a client’s eligibility for rentals of medical equipment and devices for more than 60 days, follow these steps:
 

  1. Ensure that the client has provided all of the following:
    • a written prescription and diagnosis from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner
    • a recommendation from an occupational therapist or physical therapist for the most appropriate basic device, including the expected duration
    • a price quote from the service provider
  2. Forward the Service Request and all documentation to HAB.

Authorities and Responsibilities

 

Authorities

Effective:  October 1, 2012

Medical Equipment

Employment and Assistance Worker

  • Assessing eligibility for purchases and repairs under $500
  • Assessing eligibility for equipment rentals for less than 60 days

 

Supervisor

  • Assessing eligibility for emergency equipment purchases and repairs between $500 and $1,000 (after consulting with Health Assistance Branch)

Health Assistance Branch

  • Assessing eligibility for equipment rentals for more than 60 days
  • Assessing eligibility for equipment purchases and repairs over $500
  • Assessing and purchasing of all positive airway pressure equipment, rentals and repairs.
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