If your business provides durable medical equipment (DME) or home medical equipment (HME), it is subject to several licensing requirements. These vary depending on the type of equipment and the jurisdiction in which you operate.
This is a highly regulated industry — both at the state and local level. To protect the public and institutions, governments require industry-level licenses in addition to local and tax registrations. DME covers a wide array of devices including crutches, catheters, wheelchairs, blood glucose monitors, and more. It is not always clear whether your business must be licensed in a particular state. It’s important to verify the licensure requirements of your home state and any state in which you plan to operate before starting to do business.
Additional permitting may be required for certain types of equipment, such as pharmacy licenses for oxygen-related devices.
In this article, we explore what DME licenses your business may need, how to apply for these licenses, and how your business can maintain good standing.
What is durable medical equipment (DME)?
As the name suggests, durable medical equipment is defined as medical equipment and supplies that are not disposable but are medically necessary and appropriate for home use.
Examples of DME include:
- Blood sugar meters
- Commode chairs
- Continuous passive motion devices
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices
- Hospital beds
- Home infusion services
- Infusion pumps & supplies
- Lancet devices & lancets
- Nebulizers & nebulizer medications
- Oxygen equipment & accessories
- Patient lifts
- Pressure-reducing support surfaces
- Suction pumps
- Traction equipment
- Wheelchairs and scooters
What DME licenses do I need (by state)?
DME license requirements vary by state. They also differ depending on who your business sells to, whether it is wholesale to practitioners or facilities, or retail to consumers.
To understand what licenses are needed when selling to consumers vs. selling to facilities and practitioners by state, check out our DME smart chart.