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4.2. Intermittent Catheter Coverage-Medicare


Intermittent catheterization is covered when basic coverage criteria are met and the beneficiary or caregiver can perform the procedure.

For each episode of covered catheterization, Medicare will cover:

One catheter (A4351, A4352) and an individual packet of lubricant (A4332); orOne sterile intermittent catheter kit (A4353) if additional coverage criteria (see below) are met.Intermittent catheterization using a sterile intermittent catheter kit (A4353) is covered when the beneficiary requires catheterization and the beneficiary meets one of the following criteria (1-5):

  1. The beneficiary resides in a nursing facility,

    2. The beneficiary is immunosuppressed, for example (not all-inclusive):

    3. The beneficiary has radiologically documented vesico-ureteral reflux while on a program of intermittent catheterization,

    4. The beneficiary is a spinal cord injured female with neurogenic bladder who is pregnant (for duration of pregnancy only),

    5. The beneficiary has had distinct, recurrent urinary tract infections, while on a program of sterile intermittent catheterization with A4351/A4352 and sterile lubricant A4332, twice within the 12-month prior to the initiation of sterile intermittent catheter kits.

  1. A beneficiary would be considered to have a urinary tract infection if they have a urine culture with greater than 10,000 colony forming units of a urinary pathogen AND concurrent presence of one or more of the following signs, symptoms or laboratory findings:


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Refer to Coding Guidelines section of the related Policy Article for contents of the kit (A4353). A4353 should not be used for billing if the components are packaged separately rather than together as a kit. Separately provided components do not provide the equivalent degree of sterility achieved with an A4353. If separate components are provided instead of a kit (A4353) they will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.

Use of a Coude (curved) tip catheter (A4352) in female beneficiaries is rarely reasonable and necessary. When a Coude tip catheter is used (either male or female beneficiaries), there must be documentation in the beneficiary's medical record of the medical necessity for that catheter. An example would be the inability to catheterize with a straight tip catheter. This documentation must be available upon request. If documentation is requested and does not substantiate medical necessity, claims will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.

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