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Insurance Coverage For Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

· HBOT, Insurance · Comments Off on Insurance Coverage For Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Why Won’t Insurance Cover All Conditions HBOT Helps to Heal?

If I had a penny for every time someone asked me that question, I could paper the sky in gold leaf!

The simple answer as to why insurance covers hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for some patients and not others is that the FDA only officially approves 14 specific conditions for HBOT.

What If My Illness Isn’t on the FDA-Approved List?

We have a drawer full of testimonials from patients who successfully recovered and ended their pain after having HBOT treatments here at our center in Palm Harbor, Florida. And these patients suffered from different conditions than the FDA officially approves HBOT for. But hyperbaric oxygen therapy effectively treats many other illnesses and injuries, and we have solid and promising research on our website that shows this to be true. The FDA does acknowledge and allow licensed healthcare institutions to use HBOT for off-label conditions. Our licensed facility has helped people with just some of the following conditions…

Wondering if HBOT can bring you lasting relief from your symptoms? To schedule a pain assessment at our Palm Harbor, Florida, Center, click here now or call 727-787-7077.

FDA-Approved and Off-Label Uses for HBOT

If you come to our center for any of the conditions listed directly below, providing your illness or injury is serious, Medicare and other insurers generally will cover your treatment:

  1. Acute Hearing Loss – unexplained, rapid loss of hearing
  2. Air or Gas Embolism – caused when air or gas bubbles enter the arteries during diving or when an invasive medical procedure punctures a lung or artery
  3. Arterial Insufficiencies – including non-healing diabetic foot wounds or central retinal artery occlusion (eye strokes)
  4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  5. Compromised Skin Grafts and Flaps – when reconstructive surgeries fail due to complications related to blood supply to the skin graft or flap
  6. Crush Injury that causes acute loss of blood flow
  7. Decompression Sickness – suffered by divers who ascend to sea level too quickly
  8. Delayed Radiation Injury – necrotic wounds in soft tissue and bone that occur long after radiation treatments
  9. Gas Gangrene – severe muscle infections known as clostridial myositis and myonecrosis
  10. Intracranial Abscess – infections of the brain, especially in patients with compromised immune systems
  11. Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections – severe infections that progress rapidly from flesh-eatingbacteria
  12. Osteomyelitis – Trauma induced chronic bone infections that resist conventional treatments
  13. Severe Anemia – acute blood loss that occurs from combat wounds or severe trauma
  14. Thermal Burn Injury – Deep burns from fire, steam or hot objects

But here are other off-label conditions that improve when patients get Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) These occur most frequently in returning combat veterans. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the IsraelDefense Forces (IDF) take very different positions regarding the effectiveness of HBOT. The DoD refuses to acknowledge the therapy’s effectiveness, in spite of the many veterans who say it has helped them much more than narcotic and psychiatric meds. The DoD claims that they can only prescribe hyperbaric oxygen treatment once the FDA has approved its use for PTSD and TBI. But the Israel Defense Forces routinely use HBOT to treat personnel for traumatic shock. In fact, around 120 patients get treatment at The Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Israel daily!

Besides these combat related injuries, at our center we have successfully treated the following conditions with HBOT, sometimes in combination with other medical therapies:

  • Broken or Fractured Bones, Cerebral Palsy, Lyme Disease, Macular Degeneration, Migraine Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, Near Drowning, Peripheral Nerve Regeneration, Post-Polio Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Stroke, and other nerve-related disorders.

Injured and sick bodies need oxygen to heal. But breathing in normal room air does not provide nearly enough oxygen to help very ill patients. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy super-saturates blood and tissues with pure O2, in order to bring vital nutrients to areas that need healing. But with so many conditions that HBOT effectively treats, why would the FDA not approve the therapy’s wider use so that insurance companies could provide coverage? Well, here’s the scoop…

  1. Drugs are more profitable for the FDA. Pharmaceutical companies say that on average they must spend around $1 billion per drug in order to get the FDA’s approval. And getting these medications though the approvals process is what pays the agency’s bills and salaries. To make matters worse, many times members of congress leave their congressional posts to work in advisement positions for pharmaceutical companies. As you can imagine, that creates
    enormous conflicts of interest when prioritizing which treatments the FDA will approve.
  2. Patents on Hyperbaric Chambers ran out long ago. This makes bringing the therapy back for off-label uses difficult, if not virtually impossible. The FDA warns patients not to have HBOT for unapproved uses, but the agency fails to disclose that no matter how many HBOT studies validate the therapy’s success, they will likely never approve its use for other conditions.

Like many other doctors and researchers, I continue to beg government agencies to fund more HBOT research. After 14 years of successfully treating numerous conditions with HBOT, I know just how effective it is for healing. But as long as the FDA won’t approve other uses for HBOT, insurers will have the excuse they need not to cover them. It’s as simple as that.

Here at the Center we know that illnesses often make it difficult for patients to remain employed. That’s why when insurance companies won’t cover your condition, we do everything we can to help make treatments affordable.

Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

· HBOT, Multiple Sclerosis · Comments Off on Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Googling “Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy”, will bring up this search result: Be Wary of Multiple Sclerosis “Cures” – Quackwatch. The website it leads to is owned by self-styled quackbuster and former psychiatrist, Stephen Barrett. On his webpage, Mr. Barrett pronounces,

“We found no consistent evidence to confirm a beneficial effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapyfor the treatment of multiple sclerosis and do not believe routine use is justified.”

But before you take his opinion too seriously, you should know that Mr. Barrett has not practiced psychiatry since 1993, when he was forced to give up his medical license. In a 2003 lawsuit against him by consumer advocate Tim Bolen, Mr. Barret actually admitted the following startling fact about his opinion of HBOT and other healing therapies.

Here’s what Mr. Barret of Quackwatch confessed to the court:

“The sole purpose of the activities of Barrett & Baratz are to discredit and cause damage and harm to health care practitioners, businesses that make alternative health therapies or products available, and advocates of non-allopathic therapies and health freedom.”

In truth, Mr. Barrett is generously paid by drug companies and various medical associations to make sure patients will more likely opt for pharmaceuticals over other effective treatments like HBOT. But you might be surprised to learn that some European countries now consider Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to be the first course of treatment for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, (MS).

As I discussed earlier in my website under the section Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, there have been many promising studies that have shown that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can, indeed, help successfully reduce or end some of MS’disabling effects. Is the treatment a magic bullet? I freely admit that it’s not. But does it permit MS patients to function better, reduce inflammation and flare-ups, and ease symptoms such as incontinence, pain and fatigue? You bet it does. We see amazing results every day at our Palm Harbor, Florida Center.

If you or someone you love has Multiple Sclerosis, please give our office a call. We will provide an assessment to determine if your MS symptoms could benefit from hyperbaric oxygen treatment. In cases where HBOT is not covered by insurance, we will go over ways to make treatments more affordable. To schedule your appointment online, simply click here or call 727-787-7077.

Helping Stroke Victims Recover with Hyperbaric Therapy

· HBOT, Stroke · Comments Off on Helping Stroke Victims Recover with Hyperbaric Therapy

HBOT Enables Stroke Sufferers to Reverse Symptoms and Renew Lives

Many of my patients have heard how I first stumbled on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) while researching treatments that could help a family member recover after they’d suffered a stroke. Was I skeptical? You bet I was. How could lying in a sealed chamber while breathing in pure oxygen at varying sea-level pressures possibly help stroke victims? But the more I researched, the more I became convinced of the amazing power that HBOT has to heal.

It took me a while to convince some of my family members that we should try the treatment, but I’m so glad I kept pestering them. I saw with my own eyes the difference it made to the life of my relative who suffered the stroke. Since then, I’ve been a complete believer. And after seeing success with many thousands of folks who’ve walked through our Palm Harbor, Florida Center’s door, my enthusiasm for what HBOT can do for stroke victims has only grown. But enough about me! How does lying comfortably in a state-of-the-art sealed chamber while breathing pure oxygen help those who’ve had strokes? Here’s how.

Strokes happen when normal blood circulation and oxygen within the brain gets cut off causing brain tissues to stop functioning. This might happen as the result of a blood clot or cerebral hemorrhage, for example. When people get strokes, their brain neurons quickly die off as these begin starving for oxygen. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy vastly increases oxygen supply to a stroke victim’s fluids and tissues, helping to repair and revive their afflicted body and brain cells.

Depending on which area of their brain has been oxygen-starved, one stroke victim’s symptoms could vary quite widely from another’s. Common symptoms include feeling weak or numb in the arms, legs or face. Some stroke victims could find their limbs get rigid or spastic. Others may find their balance gets impaired or they have double vision. Still others lose the ability to swallow, speak or comprehend others. It’s also common to complain of memory loss, trouble with thinking, and mood changes. Personalities can change quite dramatically, too. We have seen improvements to all of these conditions with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

HBOT works by improving blood flow to a stroke patient’s damaged brain tissues. We call the area of dead brain tissue resulting from blood and oxygen starvation an infarct. How well a stroke victim can recover with hyperbaric treatments (or any other therapy) depends on a number of factors: where the infarct is located, how big it is, and how well the penumbra has been preserved. The penumbra is the area between damaged brain tissue and the part of the brain that remains intact. And while HBOT cannot revive dead tissue, the penumbra contains sleeping brain cells that can be reawakened if they are bathed with high concentrations of 02 that bring vital nutrients to the area. When this happens, brain and body functions also begin to improve.

Here at the National Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center, we also offer treatments to supplement and enhance HBOT’s effects. These may include prescription medications and physical therapy. During the course of treatment sessions, we frequently see patients progress from being wheelchair bound to walking with assistance – or even unassisted. Some patients find their slurred speech improves so much that they’re able to return to their previous jobs. Each improvement gives us and our stroke patients and families every reason to celebrate!

As part of a multi-pronged therapy approach, hyperbaric oxygen treatments can significantly improve the daily lives of those who have suffered a stroke. We’d be happy to provide a personalized assessment with neurologist, Dr. Allan Spiegel to determine if you would benefit from HBOT treatments. In cases where HBOT is not covered by insurance, we will go over ways to make treatments more affordable. To schedule your appointment  call 727-787-7077.