Is the Rebuilder Covered by Medicare?
What is Chronic Intractable Pain?
Intractable pain, defined as pain that isn’t treatable or curable by standard medicine, can cause an incredible amount of frustration in your life. You may have been living with a lot of pain for a long time now. In fact, intractable pain or chronic pain can cause depression and anxiety. Thus these can put severe limitations on what you can do on a daily basis.
It can render you unable to work and to enjoy the small, simple pleasures life has to offer. If this sounds like you, you are not alone and there is an answer. The Rebuilder, made in 1987, could finally bring you some relief into your life. But is the Rebuilder covered by Medicare? This question is one many become stuck on.
According to NIH (National Institutes of Health), Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that is a result of a damaged communication network between the body and the nervous system. This means people suffering from Peripheral Neuropathy might experience some of the following:
- Sharp, throbbing pain or cramping
- Numbness in your hands and feet
- Heightened sensitivity to touch
- Inability to feel pain or temperature changes
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Muscle weakness
Neuropathy can happen for a few different reasons:
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Physical injury or trauma (for example, from a car accident or surgery)
- Metabolic issues or genetic conditions
- Excessive alcohol use
The Rebuilder–not your average TENS
You may have considered or tried the TENS before, (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.) But thought it didn’t quite do the job you thought it would. There could be a reason for this. Let’s have a closer look at what a common TENS Machine is and does.
According to WebMD, a TENS machine is small (about the size of an iPad mini,) and that connects right to your skin via a series of small electrodes. It then delivers a low voltage electrical charge to your nervous fibers in the surrounding area. This process works to reduce the pain signal to your brain and also could aid in the release of a hormone that helps to lessen pain.
To be clear, there isn’t a lot of research on the TENS machine. So how much it truly works to reduce your chronic intractable pain. What we do know is that the charge it delivers is uniform to all peripheral nerves in the location it surrounds. This means whether there is nerve damage or in need of repairs, they are getting the same charge regardless of condition.
The Rebuilder delivers a more custom experience
In terms of medical devices, the Rebuilder is a bit different. This machine customizes the electrical charge that runs through to your peripheral nervous system. It is like a pacemaker for your nervous system because it analyzes your wave forms and corrects them in real time. This means that it can further sense which nerve endings do not work and does a better job of delivering an electrical charge. This specifically nurtures those nerve endings that are truly in need of healing.
Is The Rebuilder covered by Medicare?
The short answer here is yes, in most situations. The Rebuilder is fully registered with the FDA for two different purposes:
- A TENS machine is used for nerve stimulation to help relieve chronic pain
- An EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) is for “muscle atrophy with intact nerve”
Most insurance companies covers Rebuilder treatments. The dual registration means that there are a few different ways you could go about getting coverage by Medicare.
How is The Rebuilder covered by Medicare?
Securing coverage by Medicare for devices, such as The Rebuilder, is possible. Although like similar situations, it requires a procedure. In most cases, Medicare will likely cover about 80% of the device. If you do have a supplemental insurance policy, chances are it will cover the rest–or you may have a small out of pocket fee depending on the exact type of insurance you have.
In order to obtain coverage for The Rebuilder by Medicare, you will need to have documentation that your pain is chronic (hasn’t stopped for at least 3 months), that it is in a specific extremity, and that you have tried and not had success with at least 2 other treatments (drugs, laser therapy, physical therapy etc.)
Secure coverage benefits through your Durable Medical Supplier (DME)
Call your doctor to let them know you want to try the Rebuilder so that they can write you a prescription.
While you do not need a prescription to use The Rebuilder, if you want to apply for coverage through Medicare, you will need a doctor’s prescription.
This document provides useful and detailed information about subsequent steps for how to go about applying for coverage of The Rebuilder through Medicare. It’s always smart to call a provider and ask specific questions about what exactly you need to do so that you have the necessary documentation as it might be different depending on your exact circumstance.
The final word: Is The Rebuilder covered by Medicare?
So is The Rebuilder covered by Medicare? Medicare can be such a tricky thing to navigate depending on exactly what you’re looking for. While a variety of treatments and illnesses have coverage, many will require extensive documentation and a lengthy procedure in order to be sure you get the most coverage possible.
For this reason, we always suggest you call your provider to have a conversation about your specific personal circumstances and needs, so that you can determine a step-by-step plan with both your provider and your doctor. By having all the documentation necessary, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a frustrating situation down the road.
The Rebuilder is a truly great option for those that have tried a long list of other treatments and still find themselves unable to alleviate their chronic intractable pain or peripheral neuropathy.
Reach out to us today to talk through what your options are, and what you will need in order to be sure you can get The Rebuilder covered by Medicare when you need it!
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