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Dataset: Durable Medical Equipment file (DME)

Basic Information
Dataset Full Name Durable Medical Equipment file
Dataset Acronym DME
Summary The Durable Medical Equipment file (DME) contains information on prescribed durable medical equipment provided to Medicare beneficiaries and the reason for the prescription (ICD-9 diagnostic codes for individual receiving the devices). Beneficiaries with Part B coverage are eligible to get DME for medical reasons and home usage. DME includes equipment such as: Air-fluidized beds, Blood sugar monitors and diabetic testing strips, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, Home oxygen equipment, Hospital beds, Infusion pumps, Nebulizers, Patient lifts, Suction pumps, Traction equipment, Canes, Crutches, Commode chairs, Walkers, Wheelchairs, Prosthesis and orthotics. Equipment is identified using the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). The file also contains information regarding the provider number of the DME supplier, and the amount reimbursed by CMS to the supplier.
Key Terms Medicare part B, HCPCS codes, Durable Medical Equipment, Wheelchairs, Walkers, Prosthesis, Orthotic, Equipment
Study Design Longitudinal
Data Type(s) Administrative
Sponsoring Agency/Entity Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Health Conditions/Disability Measures
Health Condition(s)

ICD-9/10 diagnostic codesĀ 

Disability Measures Special equipment use/assistive technology
Measures/Outcomes of Interest
Topics Beneficiary demographic information (age, gender, race/ethnicity), Diagnosis (ICD-9 CM), Equipment provided (HCPCS codes), Ordering physician information (UPIN and NPI numbers), DME supplier information, Date of service, Reimbursement amounts, CMS Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier (DMERC)
Sample Population Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part B receiving prescribed Durable Medical Equipment
Sample Size/Notes NA (All Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part B receiving prescribed Durable Medical Equipment)
Unit of Observation Individual
Continent(s) North America

United States

Geographic Coverage United States
Geographic Specificity DMERC region covers all 50 states; Zip code
Data Collection
Data Collection Mode Administrative claims data
Years Collected 1999-present
Data Collection Frequency Annual
Strengths and Limitations
Strengths Large sample size and can be linked to other CMS data. Includes prescription and details about types and reasons for the DME, as well as information on reimbursement amounts and provider-level information.
Limitations DME file contains limited variables and is therefore most useful when linked with other CMS data files. No data on Medicare beneficiaries with only Part A coverage or receiving DME in inpatient settings.
Data Details
Primary Website

Standard Analytical Files (SAF) Limited Data Set (LDS):


Research Identifiable File (RIF):


Data Access

Standard Analytical Files (SAF) Limited Data Set (LDS):

Instructions for requesting LDS files:


Research Identifiable File (RIF):


Data Access Requirements Data Use agreement, $ Cost
Summary Tables/Reports NA
Data Components
  • Main File
  • Line File
  • Demonstrations/Innovations
  • Code File (RIF only)
Similar/Related Dataset(s)

A related DME "Encounter" file was released in 2015

Many Medicare Advantage Plans offer extra coverage in addition to services covered under traditional fee-for-service Medicare (e.g., vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs). Encounter data includes records for these additional items and services provided under the plan.

Selected Papers
Other Papers

Reschovsky JD, Ghosh A, Stewart KA, Chollet DJ (2012). Durable Medical Equipment And Home Health Among The Largest Contributors to Area Variations in Use of Medicare Services. Health Affairs, 31(7), 956-964.



SAF-LDS Data dictionary:


RIF Data documentation:


General information about DME:


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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).

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