What is the cost of Hyperbaric?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a non-invasive treatment that promotes stem cell mobilization and heals damaged tissue to heal wounds internal and external wounds in the body increasing the amount of oxygen dissolved into the bloodstream. Because it’s a versatile therapy that can be utilized by a wide range of patients, including diabetics and those who've experienced a concussion, a stroke, or cancer treatments, it is often incorporated into a variety of health treatment and recovery plans.
After understanding how HBOT can be of benefit, most patients’ next question is: How much will this cost. This answer depends on a few factors.
The patient’s cost for HBOT will vary depending upon a number of important factors, including the diagnosis or reason for receiving HBOT, the specific insurance plan, and the severity of symptoms. Here is a breakdown of these three major determinants that play a significant role in its cost:
1. WHETHER THE CONDITION IS CONSIDERED ON-LABEL OR OFF-LABEL
There are several illnesses and injuries for which the FDA has approved the use of HBOT. These are known as on-label conditions, and include:
Radiation tissue damage
Diabetic lower extremity wounds (diabetic foot ulcers)
Failed skin grafts and flaps
Crush injury & other acute traumatic ischemias
Necrotizing soft tissue infection
Carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation
Central retinal artery occlusion
When a procedure is FDA-approved, it’s often covered by the patient’s insurance.
HBOT, however, has a much wider range of application. Supported by research and treatment outcomes, HBOT is used around the world to help in the treatment of many conditions, illnesses, and injuries that are currently considered off-label in the United States. These are conditions for which HBOT has not yet been approved by the FDA to treat, and are generally not covered by the patient’s insurance.
Importantly, being considered off-label doesn't mean ineffective or unsafe. Many types of pharmaceutical drugs are commonly prescribed off-label by physicians every day in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 50% of medicine practices in the US everyday is technically “off-label".”
2. TYPE OF PROVIDER AND LOCATION
Providers of HBOT fall into two main categories - hospital-based and independent. The cost of care and experience at each can be significantly different. Hospital-based HBOT programs generally accept most insurance, but are only able to see on-label patients. Independent providers may see all types of patients, but many do not take any insurance at all. At Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Centers, we are able to accept most major insurance plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Tufts, United Healthcare, Medicare, Neighborhood HealthPlan and more.
Hospital-based programs, which primarily see on-label conditions, often have much higher patient out-of-pocket costs with higher co-pays or co-insurance responsibilities than at independent centers like HOTC. As you've likely experienced, any care provided at a hospital carries greater fees than at your primary care physician or specialist's office. In any case, the out-of-pocket cost will greatly depend on your specific insurance plan and the patient responsibilities within.
Off-label conditions will most likely need to be seen at an independent HBOT provider and will likely not be covered by insurance at all. In this case, the cost per treatment will generally range between $200-$450 per treatment depending on the location of services. Our cost per treatment falls on the low end of that range.
Notably, consultation appointments are covered by insurance. We recommend patients come in for a consult to learn more about HBOT and for us to learn more about their medical history to best determine the course of treatment and what coverage opportunities may exist.
Read more about our center and contact us here: http://www.hyperbaricoxygenchamber.com/home.html
3. THE SEVERITY OF YOUR SYMPTOMS
Finally, the severity of symptoms will play a role in determining the overall course of care. Like many other areas in life, the sooner an issue is addressed, the easier it is to resolve. While that is not always the case, it can play a role in how much HBOT will be required.
If your symptoms are severe—such as those associated with traumatic brain injuries or chronic conditions—your health care provider will likely recommend more HBOT sessions than for those that are milder. The more sessions you receive, the more the course of treatment will cost—both through insurance co-pays/co-insurance or through direct treatment costs.
With that said, HBOT may actually help you save money in the long run. How? When you make it a point to effectively address a health condition or injury now, you’ll likely improve your health and avoid potential complications down the road.