Catheter FAQs


Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions about getting your catheter supplies from 180 Medical. 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.

Why are catheter prices not listed online?

Since 180 Medical provides supplies to those who have insurance, we do not set or determine catheter pricing. Prices per catheter are set by your insurance company. This is similar to how your out-of-pocket cost is also based on your insurance plan’s catheter coverage. For more information about insurance coverage for catheters and other urologic supplies, contact us.

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’ll work with your physician’s office to obtain any and 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:

  • Intermittent straight catheters
  • Coudé catheters
  • Hydrophilic catheters
  • Closed system catheters
  • Pediatric catheters for children
  • Pocket catheters
  • And more!

Additionally, we offer incontinence supplies and ostomy products. Our caring, highly-trained specialists want to make your experience as easy and trouble-free as possible.

I’m not sure which 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 automated systems or complicated phone trees. 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?

To start the sample request process, just reach out and contact us. First, we’ll need some basic information, including your current insurance plan. Since catheters can only be provided with a valid prescription, we do require this information as well. However, we make it easy on you by contacting 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 gladly lighten your load by doing a lot of the footwork for you. For example, we’ll start out by verifying your insurance plan’s catheter coverage so you don’t have to. With your permission, we can also reach out to your doctor’s office to obtain the prescription. In addition, if your insurance plan requires additional medical documentation to support the need for your catheter supplies, we’ll work with your physician’s office to get that on file as well.

On the prescription, your doctor must include the type and quantity of catheters needed per month, along with a valid diagnosis. Prescriptions should 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). For instance, Medicare covers up to 200 intermittent catheters and lubricating jelly packets per month (every 30 days. However, the amount you may receive is based upon prescribed need and frequency.

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. We don’t want you to have to wait for reimbursement when you get your supplies through our company.

Are intermittent catheters covered by Medicare?

Yes, Medicare currently covers intermittent catheters for sterile-use for up to 200 straight catheters and individual packets of lubricant per month (30 days). 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. Our specialists will also find out if your insurance requires any extra documentation or authorization.

From there, one of our trained specialists will contact you back directly to discuss your catheter supply needs in depth. We’ll take time to understand your needs and what you prefer. Finally, before your order ships, we’ll make sure you understand your insurance coverage and what your out-of-pocket cost will be (if anything).

Contact us today to find out what your insurance plan covers.

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 – to name a few. Give us a call 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 can supply one month of catheters with each shipment, or depending on your insurance plan’s guidelines, a supply of up to three months at a time.

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

We deliver FREE, once per month or once every three months, through UPS. Contact us 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 you’re cathing less or more often and think you may need to change the amount of supplies you receive, let us know as soon as possible. Make sure your prescribing healthcare provider is aware of the situation, as they may need to see you for an appointment in order to change your prescription. Then we’ll 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 work hard to get your order out as soon as possible. Shipping times vary based on where you live. However, we understand the necessity and importance of your catheter supplies. That’s why we will expedite your first order if needed.

Because 180 Medical is committed to providing world-class customer service, we’ll work with you to make sure you have your supplies when and where you need them.

How does reordering work?

Depending on your insurance plan’s requirements for refilling catheter orders, a 180 Medical Confirmations Specialist may 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 three months, depending on your preference).

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

Where do you ship to?

We proudly serve customers across the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

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. This is because reusing catheters often leads to infections, which costs insurance companies more money. The FDA has determined catheters as single-use only devices. You can find these guidelines on any intermittent catheter packaging.

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

Please see 5 Tips to Help Reduce UTIs.

How do I insert the catheter?

At 180 Medical, we’re glad to offer the support you need when you’re new to self-catheterization. You can learn how to cath with our helpful 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.

Since everyone’s preferences, anatomy, and needs are unique, no single material works for everyone across the board. Feel free to contact one of our Catheter Specialists to try out some options and find which catheter material works best 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. Additionally, 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, your doctor may recommend intermittent catheterization 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 and collection bag connected to you at all times to collect your urine. We hear from many customers who say that switching from Foley catheters to intermittent catheter helped them regain 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.

catheter brands at 180 medical

What size catheter should I use?

Getting a catheter with the right French size for you can increase the efficiency and comfort of self-cathing.

To determine the French size catheter that works best for your body, consult with your prescribing healthcare professional.

Although we cannot offer medical advice or tell you what French size to use, we’re happy to work with you and your physician in getting the right catheter supplies 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 easy as possible.

You have 3 main urologic catheter types from which to choose:
  • 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 work to drain the bladder in situations where it cannot empty completely on its own. Intermittent catheters are single-use devices since they are inserted into the body via the urethra or a stoma.

Your doctor may recommend intermittent catheterization as part of your treatment plan for neurogenic bladder, retention, or urinary incontinence.

What is a coudé catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a type of intermittent or Foley catheter that features a curved or bent insertion tip. 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, it drains the bladder while bringing the comfort and convenience of a pre-lubricated, all-in-one system. Closed system catheters may minimize the risk of UTIs, thanks to the touchless or no-touch feature of a gripping sleeve or a way to manipulate the catheter from the bag into your urethra without directly touching and contaminating the tube. In addition, a closed system catheter features a soft, flexible introducer tip to help the catheter tube bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria on its way into the urethra. Find out more with our blog post that further explains the different parts of a closed system catheter.

Is it possible to cath in a public restroom?

Absolutely! For many people, it’s not always possible to be in the comfort of your own bathroom at home when it is time to self-cath. Cathing 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.

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 with their catheters. Planning ahead of time can help ensure you have plenty of supplies in case of the unexpected, such as lost luggage or flight delays.

You may want to:

  • Familiarize yourself with the TSA’s carry-on bag guidelines
  • Pack extra catheters in your carry-on, purse, or backpack in case of delays or an emergency
  • Consider a discreet and lightweight option like a pocket catheter

For more helpful tips on traveling by air with catheters, check out our blog post written by a 180 Medical employee who has real-world experience as a quadriplegic.

What is DEHP?

DEHP is a chemical softener in many plastic and PVC vinyl products, including some medical devices like catheters. Some research has shown that DEHP and other phthalates could potentially link to health issues.

Because 180 Medical cares about the well-being of our customers, we want to make sure you have access to safe catheter supplies. This is why we’re committed to carrying DEHP-free catheter options.

Is DEHP harmful? Get the scoop on DEHP in catheters: https://www.180medical.com/blog/is-dehp-in-catheters-harmful.

is dehp in catheters bad

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

If you’re experiencing any symptoms such as pain or bleeding, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.

If you find cathing to be uncomfortable, you may have an easy solution at hand with the help of our trained catheter specialists. Since we specialize in catheters, we know our business from top to bottom. We understand that no single catheter brand or type will work or feel comfortable for everyone across the board. That’s why we make it a point to carry a wide selection of intermittent catheters for men, women, and children. Contact us today!

Take a look at some ways to reduce discomfort when you cath: https://www.180medical.com/blog/post/2018/4/27/top-5-ways-to-make-cathing-less-painful.

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

personally deliveredAs 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, even if you have low or no insurance coverage.

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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