Catheter FAQs

Below you will find a list of commonly asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed on this page, please contact us.





Getting Started

How much will my catheter supplies cost?

180 Medical is a urological supply company that services customers who have insurance. We will do all your insurance billing for you. The cost of the catheters depends on the type of insurance coverage you have. We are in-network with most major insurance plans in the United States. Contact us to have us verify your catheter insurance coverage.

What information do I need to provide in order to get started?

We will need your insurance information and your doctor’s name and phone number – this way we can obtain a prescription and also verify your insurance company’s catheter coverage. After that, you don’t have to worry about a thing – we work with your physician or case manager directly to obtain all necessary medical documentation, with no hassle for you!

What products and services do you provide?

We provide a full selection of intermittent urinary catheters to fit your needs including closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters, intermittent “straight” catheters, and coudé catheters. We have a caring staff of customer specialists who are here to make your experience with cathing an easy, trouble-free one.

I’m not sure what catheter is best for me – can 180 Medical help?

Absolutely! With your health and comfort in mind, we want to get you set up on the best catheter for your personal needs. We carry the most complete selection of urologic medical supplies in the entire country, including products from the top manufacturers like Bard, Cure Medical, Rusch, Hollister, Mentor, Coloplast, Astra Tech, Rochester, hi-slip, and MTG. We provide the best quality catheters and urologic supplies along with the best-trained staff, all so we can better serve you.

My time is valuable – do I have to wait on hold for a long time before I talk to someone who can help me out?

When you call our company, you’ll speak with a real person right off the bat, no annoying automated system that takes up your valuable time. We make it a priority to never leave anyone on hold for more than a minute at a time.

How can I get free catheter samples?

There are many different types of intermittent catheters available, and it’s important to make sure you are using the best catheter for your needs.

To start the sample request process, just reach out and contact us. All we have to do to start on our end is gather some basic information, including insurance coverage, so we can determine if and how these products would be covered for you. We can also get in touch with your doctor to obtain your prescription.

Do you require a prescription to buy catheters?

Yes, all urinary catheters require a prescription, regardless of the supplier you choose. Each catheter package has a symbol on it that indicates these products are an “RX only” (i.e. prescription only) item.

At 180 Medical, our specialists will gladly lighten your load by verifying your insurance plan’s catheter coverage for you. We will also reach out to your doctor’s office to obtain the prescription and any other necessary documentation that your insurance company may require in order to cover your catheter supplies.

On the prescription, your doctor will include the type and quantity of catheters needed per month. Prescriptions will also indicate the length of time your catheter supplies will be needed.

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Billing and Insurance

How many catheters will my insurance cover?

Each insurance plan is different; please contact us today for us to verify your catheter coverage. Most insurance, including Medicare, will cover sterile use (using one catheter and disposing of it each time). Medicare covers a maximum of 200 catheters per month.

I’ve been told by other companies that I need to pay upfront before I can get my supplies. Is this how 180 Medical works?

No, we directly bill your private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid for covered catheters first. No need to pay for anything upfront and wait weeks for reimbursement when you get supplies through our company.

Are intermittent catheters covered by Medicare?

Yes, Medicare currently covers intermittent catheters for one-time, sterile-use catheterization for up to 200 straight catheters and individual packets of lubricant per month (every 30 days), based upon need and frequency. However, this does require proper documentation in the prescribing healthcare professional’s notes to match the prescription. For more detailed information, please read our Medicare Guidelines for Catheters blog post.

What types of catheters are covered by insurance?

Every insurance plan is different and may have varying guidelines as to what types of catheters they will cover as well as how many.

As soon as we receive your insurance information, we work quickly to verify your insurance plan’s catheter coverage and find out if there is any extra documentation or authorization to obtain.

From there, one of our trained specialists will contact you back directly to discuss your catheter supply needs in more depth, including what and how many supplies will be covered by your insurance and what will be your out-of-pocket portion to pay, if anything.

Contact us today to find out what your insurance plan covers and get the ball rolling on getting your much-needed urethral catheter supplies to your door discreetly and quickly.

What insurance networks is 180 Medical contracted with?

180 Medical is an ACHC-accredited provider contracted with over 1,200 insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid programs in most states. We also accept a wide variety of private insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare, Cigna, Humana, and Aetna – just to name a few. Give us a call today to see if we are contracted with your plan.

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Ordering and Delivery

How will I receive my supplies?

Your supplies will be shipped discreetly to your doorstep through UPS. We supply one month of catheters with each shipment.

How much is delivery, and how long will it take to get my supplies?

We deliver FREE, once per month, through UPS. Contact your 180 Medical customer specialist to determine more exact timing depending upon your location in the United States.

Can I change the number of supplies I receive every month?

If your doctor would like to change the amount or the type of catheter supplies that you receive, just give us a call and we can take it from there! We will contact the doctor’s office and get a new prescription and necessary documentation to accommodate the changes that are made.

How fast will I get my order?

Once we verify your insurance coverage, we will obtain your prescription from your doctor, and then we can get your order out as soon as possible. Shipping times will vary based on where you live, but your initial order can be expedited if needed, since we understand the necessity and importance of your catheter supplies. 180 Medical is committed to providing world-class customer service and will work with you to make sure you have your supplies when you need them.

How does reordering work?

Depending on your insurance plan’s requirements for refilling catheter orders, a 180 Medical specialist will call or email you (typically on a monthly basis) to check in and see how you are doing on your supplies. If your order is needed, we will be sure to confirm that with you before shipping. This way, you will never run out of stock, nor will you be over-stocked with unnecessary supplies.

Please know that you can also contact us if you need to make any adjustments to your order or your address.

If your insurance plan does not require regular confirmation check-ins, we can set your orders to ship on a recurring basis (monthly or once every 3 months, depending on your preference).

Rest assured, you are not held to any sort of contract when your orders ship automatically. You may request to cancel or adjust your orders with us at any time.

Where do you ship to?

We supply catheters to customers across the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and we will ship your orders directly and discreetly to your door.

Where can I buy catheters near me?

Our main headquarters and warehouse are both located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, but we also have offices all across the United States.

To find a location near you, see our list of office locations.

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General Catheter Use

Can I reuse catheters?

Washing and reusing catheters can be both time-consuming and inconvenient, not to mention unhealthy! While rewashing catheters may work for some, many people experience recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, studies show that sterile use (using a catheter one time and disposing of it) can reduce urinary tract infections. Most major insurance companies, including Medicare, recommend sterile use because reusing catheters often leads to infections which costs insurance companies more money. Even the FDA states that all catheters are single-use only devices, and you can find these guidelines stamped on any intermittent catheter packaging.

What can I do to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

Please see 5 Tips to Help Reduce UTIs

How will I know where to insert the catheter?

At 180 Medical, we’re glad to offer the support you need when you’re new to self-catheterization, so we’ve provided helpful, step-by-step self-catheterization instruction guides for men, women, and children. We also have convenient online instructions for quick access to show you how to self-cath, including hygienic preparation, catheter insertion, withdrawal, and disposal.

What are catheters made of?

The three most common catheter materials are vinyl, red rubber latex, and silicone. On top of figuring out the right length and French size, it’s important to choose the right material as well to help make your cathing experience more comfortable.

Since everyone’s preferences, anatomy, and needs are unique, there is no one perfect material choice that works for everyone across the board. Feel free to contact one of our Catheter Specialists and we can help you find the right urinary catheter for you!

Do you carry discreet and compact catheters?

Yes, 180 Medical offers a variety of discreet catheter options for our customers and their varied needs and preferences, including travel catheters, compact catheters, and foldable catheter options. We also carry pocket catheters.

Pocket catheters are one of the most popular types of intermittent urinary catheters due to their convenience, ease of handling, and their ability to be carried discreetly.

We’re glad to help you find an intermittent catheter that may best fit your individual preferences, and we can verify your insurance to determine how and if these products are covered on your policy.

When is an intermittent catheter recommended?

If you aren’t able to fully empty your bladder on your own, intermittent catheterization may be recommended by your doctor as an effective solution in place of an indwelling or Foley catheter.

Intermittent catheterization is often suggested if you have the ability to insert the catheter yourself or if someone like a parent, guardian, spouse, or other caregivers can do it for you. This process frees you from having an indwelling catheter inside you and a collection bag nearby at all times to collect your urine. We hear from many customers who say they feel that when they switched to intermittent catheters, they gained some of their independence back.

Intermittent cathing must be done according to your prescribing healthcare professional’s prescribed treatment schedule. This may be a certain number of times per day or per week, depending on your individual condition and needs.

What catheter brands do you offer?

Since we specialize in intermittent catheters, we carry all of the major manufacturers and high-quality catheter brands and types. When you choose 180 Medical, you get the option to sample what catheter might work and feel best for you, and you also have the freedom of choice to pick the brand you prefer.

We carry popular brands such as Bard, Coloplast, Cure, GentleCath, hi-slip, Hollister, Lofric and many more.

Take a look at our online Catheter Showcase to find a full product list along with brief descriptions of each catheter.

What size catheter should I use?

Determining the right French size of intermittent catheter that will fit your body best can greatly increase the efficiency and comfort of your self-catheterization routine.

To determine the right size catheter for your individual needs, please be sure to consult with your prescribing healthcare professional.

Although we cannot offer medical advice and tell you what French size will work best for you, you can also contact 180 Medical to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We are happy to work with you and your prescribing healthcare professional to find the right catheter for your needs.

What types of catheters are available?

180 Medical carries a complete selection of straight and coudé tip catheters in a wide variety of sizes (including pediatric catheters) and materials (red rubber latex, silicone, vinyl (sometimes known as PVC), and antibacterial).

However, there’s more to catheters than French sizes, lengths, and materials. Understanding the different catheter product types available to you will help you make an informed decision and transition as easily as possible.

There are 3 main urologic catheter types to choose from:

  • Intermittent catheters are often considered the original technology. They are sometimes called uncoated catheters because they require a manual application of lubricating jelly prior to insertion. These can sometimes be a good option for those who are under-insured or uninsured since they can be purchased rather inexpensively.
  • Hydrophilic catheters are the preferred cathing system for those who experience the sensation of friction or discomfort during the cathing process. Hydrophilic catheters have a coating that is activated by water to be optimally hydrated and acts as a lubricant that is bound directly to the catheter tube’s surface, so it will not slough off or make a mess as you self-cath. The hydrophilic coating, once activated, stays smooth and slippery throughout to promote an easier and more comfortable insertion.
  • Closed system catheters typically feature a pre-lubricated catheter housed inside its own sterile collection chamber. Because closed system catheters are an all-in-one system, it’s often preferred by those who travel frequently or people who are in wheelchairs. This catheter type offers its user privacy, comfort, and convenience. Closed system catheters are designed to help prevent the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well by keeping the catheter from coming in direct contact with your hands as you cath, and most brands also feature a pre-lubricated introducer tip that bypasses the highest concentrations of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra.

When you order catheters from 180 Medical, your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are a catheter user but have never discussed your ideal choices for catheters with someone, please give us a call at 1-877-688-2729. Your health is too important to risk not using the right catheter product.

What are urinary catheters used for?

Urinary catheters are used to drain the bladder when someone cannot empty their bladder completely. Your doctor may have recommended intermittent catheterization as part of your treatment plan due to: bladder retention, urinary incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, a spinal cord injury, or another medical condition that affects the way your bladder works. Intermittent catheters are small tubes designed to drain urine from the bladder. These are most often composed of vinyl or PVC, silicone, or red rubber latex. Intermittent catheters are considered single-use only devices since they are inserted into the body via the urethra.

Visit our blog for specific information about the different types of catheters available for both males and females.

What is a coudé catheter?

A curved tip or coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or Foley catheter that is distinguishable because the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably.

What is a closed system catheter?

A closed system catheter is a self-contained, sterile, pre-lubricated catheter housed within a collection bag. The collection bag eliminates the need to void the urine into a receptacle or toilet. As with all other types of catheters, its main function is to drain the bladder of all urine in a comfortable, smooth process, but it brings the additional benefit of convenience in an all-in-one system. Closed system catheters may also help minimize the risk of UTIs due to an inclusion of a sterile, pre-lubricated introducer tip that helps the catheter bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the urethra, and they often feature a gripping sleeve or a way to manipulate the catheter from the bag into your urethra without directly touching and contaminating the tube. To learn more, take a look at our blog post that breaks down and explains the different parts of a closed system catheter.

Is it possible to cath in a public restroom?

Absolutely! For most people, it’s not always possible to be at home in the comfort of your own bathroom when it is time to catheterize. Self-catheterization in public restrooms is actually much easier than it may seem at first. We know you can’t always guarantee the sterility of the restrooms you’re at when in public, at work, at school, or on vacation, so a product like a hydrophilic catheter or a closed system catheter may help make the process a little more convenient while reducing the risk of infection. These products can also keep your hands off of the catheter tube itself while making the process more comfortable and well-lubricated.

At 180 Medical, we’re glad to offer the support you need when you’re new to self-catheterization. Our specialists are ready to listen to all of your concerns and find a solution for you with the right products for your needs.

Can I bring catheters on an airplane?

Yes, many people travel all over the world with their catheters every day. Planning is crucial to help ensure you have plenty of supplies and are prepared for the unexpected when it comes to air travel.

The most important actions you can take are:

  • contacting the airline
  • familiarizing yourself with carry-on bag regulations
  • bringing along extra catheters in case of emergency

For helpful tips and tricks on traveling by air with urinary catheters, see our blog post written by a 180 Medical employee who has real-world experience traveling as a quadriplegic.

What is DEHP?

DEHP is an organic compound used as a softener in many products made of PVC, including some medical devices like catheters. DEHP in PVC and its potential harm have been debated for some time now within the medical community. 180 Medical cares about the well-being of our patients, and we are constantly working to ensure we offer you the safest urinary supplies, which is why we are committed to carrying urinary catheters that are not made with DEHP.

Cathing is uncomfortable for me. Are there more comfortable catheters available?

If you find your current catheter is not as comfortable as you feel it should be, feel free to contact us to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly specialists today. There are many intermittent catheter brands and types out there, and of course, there is no one catheter that works best for everyone.

Since we specialize in catheters, we know our business from top to bottom, and we have a wide variety of intermittent catheter options for men, women, and children from all of the top catheter brands available. There are plenty of options we can look at to reduce friction or discomfort when you cath, including catheters with smooth, polished eyelets or hydrophilic catheter options that stay well-lubricated from insertion to withdrawal.

Experiencing catheter pain? Take a look at some ways to reduce discomfort when you cath:

What if I want to pay for my catheters with cash?

As an ACHC-accredited provider in-network with a growing number of insurance plans, 180 Medical works specifically to serve insured customers. However, you can still receive the same great quality supplies and pay out of pocket for them. Try Personally Delivered for your sterile-use intermittent catheters, ostomy products, incontinence supplies, and more! You can easily order over the phone or online, set up recurring orders with a credit or debit card if you prefer, and receive your supplies discreetly and quickly — all without insurance.

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