CMS policy opens access to single-use catheters

June 26, 2008

Patients on intermittent catheterization are now allowed up to 200 single-use, disposable catheters per month, thanks to a change in policy by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The decision provides improved access to single-use catheters in patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and spina bifida.

Patients on intermittent catheterization are now allowed up to 200 single-use, disposable catheters per month, thanks to a change in policy by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The decision provides improved access to single-use catheters in patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and spina bifida.

The move marks a significant advance in patient quality of life advocated by health care organizations, patient interest groups, and medical equipment manufacturers. Previously, Medicare’s long-standing policy regarding intermittent catheters covered only one catheter per week, except for limited patient populations or for beneficiaries who already had sustained two documented and severe urinary tract infections.

The policy has been changed by all four Medicare contractors that cover the entire United States with respect to durable medical equipment and supplies, according to an Infectious Diseases Society of America statement.