Ordering medical supplies is an ongoing necessity if you have an ostomy. If you’re brand new ostomate, placing your first order can feel a bit overwhelming. As a family owned and operated company, our goal at Parthenon is to help you navigate your way through some of the challenges.
There are over 20,000 brick-and-mortar durable medical equipment shops in the United States, and quite a few on-line medical supply stores to note. Once you find the right supplier, here are some helpful things you should know before placing an order for ostomy products.
1. Know which type of ostomy you have.
This is a very common mistake whether you’re a brand new ostomate 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 ostomy nurse to ask which one applies to you. Knowing which type you have will help us help you.
2. Know the brand of ostomy supplies you are using.
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 ostomy 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 the 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 brand new ostomate, you might need more supplies due to 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. Know what else you can use or at least be open to the idea of trying something different in case this happens. Whether it’s brand new or from 20 years ago, if its available, 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, then all you’ll need to do is call them directly or request free samples on their website. Please call us at 1-800-453-8898 to ask us about sample availability.
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 your relevant 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 will it take to receive your order.
In most cases, you will receive your order from Parthenon within 2-4 business days. Since each medical supplier is different, it’s important to ask how long the shipment will take, especially if you’re running low. Also know that shipping might cost extra, however many companies have free shipping with a minimum purchase. For urgent needs, Parthenon can ship overnight for a fee. In this case, you or a representative may need to be at home to sign for the delivery.
9. Ask about the return policy 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 order ostomy supplies or accessories, call 1-800-453-8898 or visit us online at parthenoninc.com.