As a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary,
you should be able to:
Did your doctor or supplier give you a catheter with a cancer warning label?
Cath users must endure multiple UTIs before better styles are covered.
If you use an indwelling catheter
you will have that piece of rubber inside your body
With these numbers, do you think it's a good idea to use a catheter that has a carcinogen warning label?
Spinal Cord Peer Support USA
Mitrofanoff Support Official
Spina Bifida Forever
Even worse, they were not told by their doctor or catheter supplier if the catheter they presently use has a Prop 65 carcinogen warning.
The Better Caths for Iowa Act
Sponsored by Iowa State Senator Josh Turek - (D)
Born with Spina Bifida, Josh is a four-time Paralympian who most recently brought home Gold from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. He is first person who uses a wheelchair to be elected to the Iowa State Legislature.
"Bladder cancer took the life of Dale Ericksen, my wheelchair basketball coach at Southwestern Minnesota State University," Josh shares.
"I introduced this bill to improve health equity for Iowans with disabilities," he adds. "I encourage state and federal representatives, nationwide, to introduce similar legislation."
The BetterCaths for Iowa Act places an immediate ban on reimbursement of catheters that have Prop 65 warning labels. It also requires Iowa Medicaid to review the historical bladder cancer rate and correlating brands of catheters used by their patients.
It's time to get involved.
Support Josh's legislative bill as he strives to protect
Iowans who have disabilities!
It's quick and easy to do!
We've created a simple petition that will help you ask State Representatives, Medicare, and Medicaid to make sure you or your loved ones have better catheters. These organizations determine the guidelines of what is reimbursed for urological catheters.
CHOOSE YOUR CATHETER
Ask your doctor or medical supplier for a catheter without a Prop 65 cancer warning label.
Medicare has special protections to make sure you get the specific types of medical equipment you need to protect your health.*
If you need a specific catheter, your doctor must prescribe the specific brand or form in writing and document it in your medical record.
A Medicare contract supplier is required to:
1.furnish the exact brand or form of item you need;
2. help you find another contract supplier that will furnish that brand or form; or
3. work with your doctor to find an alternate that is safe and effective for you.*
Medical studies prove that people who use catheters are four times (> 4x) more likely to get bladder cancer than those who don't.*
People who use catheters are eight times (> 8x) more likely to die from bladder cancer than those who don't use catheters.*
That's why we are advocating for a legislative ban on the sale or use of catheters made with chemicals, like DEHP, that are known to cause cancer.
Ask your doctor or medical supplier for a catheter that does not have a Prop 65 cancer warning label.
Unfortunately, the more a catheter costs, the less likely you are to use it if you are on Medicare or Medicaid.
Medicare only pays for inexpensive or routine items, like canes, blood glucose monitors or walkers. This includes medical gical supplies like urological catheters.*
The cheapest catheters tend to be the oldest. Historically, many of the oldest styles were made with DEHP, a chemical known to cause cancer.
The good news is, today, several ethically-responsible catheter makers do not use DEHP.
But old styles of catheters made with DEHP are still being prescribed and sold, primarily to low-income people with disabilities.
Alternatives are available.
For Yourself and Your Community
Join us in asking Medicare and Medicaid to ensure you can:
Choose the catheter brand that works best for you.
Avoid catheters made with chemicals that are known to cause cancer, endocrine disruption, and sterility.
Access catheter styles that may reduce your rate of UTIs without being forced to first endure multiple, painful, and potentially life-threatening bladder infections.
The BetterCaths team is comprised of cancer survivors, educators and experts in disability and healthcare.
We use catheters daily, or care for someone whose life depends on urological catheter use.
We want YOU to have healthier options for urological catheters that you put inside your body every day.
We know better choices are available.
That's why we care!
A growing number of community leaders and non-profit organizations agree that you deserve better when you self-cath.
We're incredibly grateful for their help in amplifying and advancing this critical health equity movement for people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions.
We'd love to include you as a supporter, too.