These include a number of different medical services and supplies which may be necessary
in the treatment and diagnosis of an illness or injury. They may be furnished as part
of a doctor's treatment, or by a provider, an independent laboratory, the outpatient
department of a hospital, by a medical clinic, or by an ambulatory surgical center.
They include services and supplies (e.g., drugs and biologicals which cannot be self-administered)
furnished as an incident to a physicians' professional service, of kinds which are
commonly furnished in physicians' offices either without charge or the charge for
which is usually included in the physicians' bills.
They also include diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and laboratory tests; radiation
therapy; portable diagnostic X-ray services furnished in the patient's home; surgical
dressings, and splints, casts, and similar devices; rental or purchase of durable
medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, hospital bed, or oxygen equipment prescribed
by a doctor to be used in the patient's home; prosthetic devices (other than dental)
to replace all or part of an internal body organ (including contiguous tissue) or
replace all or part of the function of a permanently inoperative or malfunctioning
internal body organ such as cardiac pacemakers and replacements or repairs of such
devices; and ambulance services.
Part B also covers outpatient physical therapy and speech pathology services when
such services are furnished by or under arrangements made by participating providers
In general, medical insurance benefits are 80 percent of reasonable charges for covered
services after an annual deductible has been met. There is also a Part B blood deductible
equal to the charge of the first three pints of blood furnished in a calendar year.
Expenses incurred for this blood deductible do not count as incurred expenses toward
the annual cash deductible and are not creditable to the Part A blood deductible.