Riley Poor, a C5?6 Quadriplegic, was completely bed-ridden due to a non-healing pressure sore. While he was in bed rest, Riley often experienced painful spasms and nerve pain. These spasms gradually became so frequent that Riley, despite the excruciating pain, became accustomed to them and the occurrences became a normal part of his life.
It was at this point in his life that Andrea Peruzzi, Riley?s partner, came across hyperbaric therapy.
?All I really knew about it was that Michael Jackson had apparently slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber,? says Riley, when Peruzzi asked him to look up about HBOT.
Nevertheless Poor, a resident of Portland, Oregon, ignored his doubts about the therapy and decided to undergo 13 hours of HBOT at the closest hyperbaric center near him. However, even the closest hyperbaric clinic was half an hour away from his home and gradually it became quite expensive and challenging to drive down to the clinic for the therapy sessions.
However, despite the logistical problems, his nerve pain diminished significantly and the spasms got much better after undergoing just 9 to 10 hours of therapy. His health improved significantly and his pressure wounds, much to Poor?s surprise, healed completely. Poor said that the positive effects of HBOT amazed him.
Portable Hyperbaric Chambers for Mild Hyperbaric Therapy
Although Poor?s health improved after undergoing hyperbaric therapy, the journey to the clinic and the associated travel expenses were becoming a major issue for him and his partner. It was then that he decided to purchase his own hyperbaric chamber. Riley opted for the OxyHealth Vitaeris 320 mild hyperbaric chamber for conducting hyperbaric therapy from the comfort of his own home. Although the hyperbaric chamber was quite expensive, Riley decided that the positive effects of the therapy and not having to pay $200 for each HBOT session at the hyperbaric chamber, were worth the investment. Moreover, OxyHealth hyperbaric chambers are one of the safest hyperbaric compartments in the market, as they undergo the highest standard of safety tests before going out for retail.
Riley states that he has spent approximately 180 hours in his personal hyperbaric chamber in less than two years and never felt better. He agrees that his decision to purchase the OxyHealth hyperbaric chamber was right as the HBOT costs at the hyperbaric center, combined with the discomfort of traveling, were becoming a major issue.
How Much Does Hyperbaric Therapy Cost?
The cost of hyperbaric therapy varies depending on a number of essential factors, including the clauses of a specific insurance plan, the severity of the health condition being treated, the kind of adjunctive care required, and many more factors. Here we will discuss the three most important factors that play a significant role in determining the hyperbaric therapy costs.
Whether the Ailment or Disorder is Off-Label or On-Label
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has till date approved a list of ailments to be treated by hyperbaric therapy. These conditions, generally known as on-label ailments, include:
- Diabetic Wounds like diabetic foot ulcers
- Tissue Damage by Radiation
- Failed skin flaps and grafts
- Acute Traumatic Ischemias or Crush Injury
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection
- Chronic or non-healing wounds
- Decompression sickness
- Gas gangrene.
If the treatment of an ailment has FDA approval, generally the cost of the procedure is covered by most insurance plans. So if you are diagonalized with any one of these ailments, chances are that your hyperbaric therapy costs will be taken care of by the insurance company.
However, with the advancement in the medical industry, the application HBOT has extended beyond this list of disorders. Hyperbaric therapy is now used and recommended by many physicians to successfully treat off-label illness and injuries in the United States including Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, sports-related injuries, and many more. Currently, FDA has not approved HBOT as a treatment for this ailments and thus there are high chances that the cost of the procedure won?t be covered by your insurance plan.
However, it is very important to understand that off-label has nothing to do with the safety or efficacy of the treatment procedure. For example, in the US there are many pharmaceutical drugs which are off-label but is still prescribed by physicians. In this instance, it means that FDA is waiting for more research to be conducted regarding the application of HBOT therapy for the treatment of these off-label conditions before reaching a conclusion.
The Severity of the Health Condition:
The overall cost of the healthcare plan thoroughly depends on the severity of the health condition of the patient. While sometimes the ailment is diagnosed and treated sooner, this is not always the case. The severity of the symptoms will decide how many HBOT sessions the patient requires and thus the overall hyperbaric therapy cost. For example, if an individual suffering from chronic health issues or traumatic brain injuries is referred for hyperbaric therapy, the physician is likely to prescribe regular HBOT sessions of long durations. The number of HBOT sessions is directly proportional to the overall cost. However, if a disorder is treated in time, it will effectively save money that is likely to be spent on avoiding complications in the near future.
Type of Hyperbaric Therapy Provider and the Location:
HBOT providers can be categorized into two types ? hospital-based or clinic-based hyperbaric therapy and in-home treatment. There are many hospitals and clinics in the US that provide HBOT therapy to patients. While some cater to only on-label patients, most of the medical institutions cater to off-label patients as well. However, all treatments are agreed upon and started after consultation with a doctor to determine the frequency of the sessions. Off-Label hyperbaric therapy generally ranges between $250-$450 per session, depending on the provider.
In-home treatment takes place when the patient is treated in the comfort of their home by a licensed hyperbaric physician in a portable hyperbaric chamber. The cost of buying a hyperbaric chamber from reputed manufacturers like OxyHealth is a one-time investment, which allows the patient to stay at home and reap the benefits of this treatment. The hyperbaric therapy cost also reduces significantly.
The overall hyperbaric therapy cost depends on the ailment the patient is suffering from. However, with physicians and researchers coming out in support of this non-invasive and painless therapy, it is currently considered to be one of the best primary and adjunctive treatment solutions to go with.