Reasonable Useful Lifetime and Duplicate Items - Billing Reminder

Posted April 29, 2011

Medicare defines a Reasonable Useful Lifetime (RUL) for many items. RUL is the expected minimum lifespan for the item. It starts on the initial date of service and runs for the defined length of time. The default RUL for durable medical equipment is statutorily set at 5 years. RUL is also applied to other non-DME items such as orthoses and prostheses. RUL is not applied to supply items.

If a same or similar item is provided during the RUL of an item already in the beneficiary's possession, it will be denied as same/similar or duplicate.

Suppliers are encouraged to inquire about the beneficiary's history of similar items.

Refer to the Supplier Manual for additional information about RUL and duplicate items.

Last Updated May 25 , 2017