As part of the July 8 ESRD PPS proposed rule, CMS included a proposal to revise the definition of durable medical equipment (DME) by adding a 3-year minimum lifetime criterion that must be met by an item or device in order to be considered "durable" for the purpose of classifying the item under the Medicare DME benefit category. The 3-year minimum lifetime requirement would be prospective only and would not apply to items classified as DME before the proposed rule would be implemented. CMS also does not propose to apply the 3-year lifetime requirement to accessories used with DME.  Also note that the proposed minimum period of durability does not replace the Social Security Act’s reasonable useful lifetime standard used to determine how often payment can be made for replacement items.  Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 30, 2011.