Medicare Coverage for Diabetic Foot Exam

Diabetes causes a variety of side effects including poor circulation and damage to the nerve endings in the feet. Anyone who has diabetes need to carefully monitor their feet. Nerve damage, also called neuropathy, causes two main problems:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Slow healing due to loss of circulation

As far as your feet are concerned this is a deadly combination. It's much easier for the feet to get hurt and it takes them much longer to heal than in a non-diabetic. Foot problems can escalate quickly and to such a degree that amputations are required. Foot care sounds rather silly but for diabetics this is a very serious matter that deserves time and attention.

Get Your Bi-yearly Diabetic Foot Exams

Medicare will pay for two foot exams per year done by a Medicare-approved podiatrist for anyone who is suffering from diabetic nerve damage. The coverage is included under Original Medicare Part B. Patient costs include the traditional 20% patient co-insurance unless you have supplemental insurance. Yearly deductibles are applied to these foot exams. During the foot exam the podiatrist will also instruct you on how to properly take care of your feet.

Patient Diabetic Foot Care

The first thing a patient can do for their foot care is to work on controlling their diabetes. This includes sticking to your diet and exercise program and taking your oral medications. Properly monitoring your glucose levels and taking insulin are also important for diabetics. In addition, diabetics should monitor their feet daily for changes and sores and apply prescribed foot lotion to the tops and bottom of the feet every day. Toe nails should be trimmed weekly. Diabetics need to be careful and not expose their feet to injury. This mean nothing too hot-like scalding water or hot sand and nothing too cold- like outside weather in winter. The sensations in a diabetic's feet can be so reduced that the feet can become burned or frostbitten without a person even realizing it. In addition, corns and calluses and dry feet are common due to the reduced circulation. Diabetics can help improve their circulation by purposely wiggling their toes several times a day and through exercise. Avoid crossing the legs and sitting in one position for long periods of time because both of these actions inhibit circulation.

Wearing Socks and Diabetic Shoes

Medicare covers diabetic shoes and diabetics should ask their doctor about getting a pair of diabetic shoes and insoles. These special shoes breathe and are designed to reduce rubbing and chafing. They also evenly distribute weight across the entire bottom of the foot and this helps to prevent pressure points and sores.

In summary, diabetic foot care is extremely important for Medicare recipients who have diabetes. With careful monitoring and care feet can remain healthy. Medicare covers both foot exams and special diabetic shoes that can make diabetic foot care management much easier and prevent small sores from turning into large problems.