The Purewick System is a urine collection system or a catheter. Unlike traditional catheters, Purewick System catheters work on the outside. The Purewick System is designed to keep the skin dry by pulling the urine from the catheter into a sealed collection canister.

If this is something that has been suggested to you, you may be wondering “does Medicare cover Purewick?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of Purewick catheters and other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Purewick?

The short answer is yes. Medicare will cover the cost of Purewick catheters. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your Purewick catheters. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for Purewick catheters. Parts A and B provide coverage for your Purewick catheters if it is considered medically necessary. The supply must also be first ordered by your healthcare provider for Original Medicare to provide coverage.

Coverage for catheters is provided by Medicare Part A if the patient is staying in a hospital or an inpatient setting. On the other hand, coverage for catheters is provided by Medicare Part B if it takes place in an outpatient setting. Medicare Part B provides coverage for 1 indwelling catheter per month.

For male patients, Medicare provides coverage for up to 35 external catheters per month.

Coverage for Purewick condom-type catheters for male and female external urinary collection devices are provided by Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B provides coverage for Purewick if you have permanent urinary incontinence. Part B also provides coverage for fecal collectors. 

Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the costs of your Purewick catheters. You will pay for the remaining 20 percent as coinsurance.  

Part C Coverage for Purewick

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for Purewick catheters. These plan have to cover everything Original Medicare covers. However, they will provide additional benefits as well. What additional benefits they provide and what the costs for these added benefits are will depend on what plan you have.

How Much Does The Purewick Catheter System Cost?

Purewick generally cost between $16 and $20 each. A pack of 30 female external catheters will run anywhere between $450 and $600. This price will vary by vendor.

How Does The Purewick Female External Catheter System Work?

  1. The first thing you must do is to plug the power cord into the device outlet and into the A/C outlet. Make sure the power switch is off. 
  1. For the second step, place the collection canister in the base. Fully seal the lid by pressing down firmly on the lid of the device. 
  1. You may slip a privacy cover onto the canister before you put the canister into the base. This step is optional.
  1. Now, attach pump tubing to the Purewick Female External Catheter connector port and the connector port on the collection canister lid.
  1. Then attach the elbow connector to the collector tubing and connect the elbow connector to the connector port on the collection canister lid.
  1. Lastly, connect the other end of the collector tubing to the Purewick Female External Catheter.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover Botox for hyperhidrosis?

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