Make ordering easier with these tips from The Parthenon Company.
The Parthenon Co top SPONSOR BADGE

Ordering medical supplies is an ongoing necessity when you have an ostomy. If you’re new to this, placing your first order may feel a bit overwhelming. As a family owned and operated company, our goal at The Parthenon Company is to help you navigate your way, from different brands to multiple items numbers, we're here to help you navigate through the process.

There are over 20,000 brick-and-mortar durable medical equipment shops in the United States and hundreds more online stores to note. Once you choose a medical supplier, here are some helpful things you should know before placing an order for ostomy products.

1. Know the type of ostomy you have.

This is a very common misunderstanding for new ostomates or if your loved one had ostomy surgery. There are three main types of ostomies; colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. It’s okay if you’re unsure, you can simply call your doctor or nurse to ask which one applies. Knowing which type of ostomy you have will help us help you.

2. Know the brand name that you use.

Lucky for you, there are several manufacturers of ostomy appliances to choose from these days. When my father started Parthenon over 50 years ago, the choices were very limited. Some of the most popular brands we carry include Coloplast, ConvaTec, Hollister, and NuHope.

3. Create a list of product reference numbers.

Now that you know your ostomy type and brand, next you’ll need to know which products you use to ensure you’re ordering the right supplies. All ostomy products and accessories have reference numbers. If you do not know these numbers, don’t worry, we’ll help you find the items you need. For ease when placing your next order, please save your invoice or packing slip, as it includes product information from your previous order.

4. Know how many of each item you need.

Knowing how much to order depends a lot on your needs. If you’re a new ostomate or have peristomal skin irritation, you might need more supplies because of frequent appliance changes. As you begin to heal from surgery, your needs may change or you might try different products. We suggest you keep at least a one-month supply on hand at all times.

5. Be prepared to choose alternate products.

While we stock most products, our inventory changes daily. Sometimes manufacturers have a back order and you might not be able to get the product you want for a few weeks or months. Have a back up of alternative products that will work for you or be open to trying something different in case this happens. Know that we will exhaust our network of suppliers to get you what you need.

6. Ask about free sample products.

This is a great way to try new things. Many of our manufacturers provide samples of their newest products. If we don’t have any, you can call the company directly or request free samples online. Please call us at 1-800-453-8898 to ask about sample availability.

Coloplast free samples

ConvaTec free samples

Hollister free samples

Nu-Hope free samples

7. How are you going to pay?

Most online suppliers and retail medical stores take credit cards or bank checks, but not all companies take insurance or Medicare. Talk to the billing department first to ensure maximum benefits are received. If using insurance or Medicare, have the necessary information up to date and handy. At Parthenon, we only file claims with Medicare and you should receive direct reimbursement 4-5 weeks after filing.

8. Know how long it takes to receive your order.

In most cases, you'll receive your order from The Parthenon Company within 2-4 business days. Since each medical supplier is different, it’s important to ask how long shipment will take, especially if you’re running low. Be aware that shipping might cost extra with some suppliers, however many offer free shipping with a minimum purchase. For urgent needs, Parthenon can ship overnight for a fee. In this case, you (or an authorized signer) may need to be at home for the delivery.

9. Ask about return policies for ostomy supplies.

It’s always a good idea to ask about the return policy because return shipping is sometimes the responsibility of the customer. Once you receive your items, always double check to make sure they are the items you ordered. Parthenon accepts returns of most new, unopened items for a refund or exchange within 30 days of the shipment date.

We make it easy to shop for medical supplies with one of the largest selections of ostomy manufacturers online. At Parthenon, our number one priority is you! Browse our online medical store, request a catalog, and learn about our lowest price guarantee. To place an order for ostomy supplies or accessories, call 1-800-453-8898 or visit us online at

This article was made possible by The Parthenon Company. To learn about our approach to sponsored stories, see our About page.

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