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:
- Acute Hearing Loss – unexplained, rapid loss of hearing
- 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
- Arterial Insufficiencies – including non-healing diabetic foot wounds or central retinal artery occlusion (eye strokes)
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Compromised Skin Grafts and Flaps – when reconstructive surgeries fail due to complications related to blood supply to the skin graft or flap
- Crush Injury that causes acute loss of blood flow
- Decompression Sickness – suffered by divers who ascend to sea level too quickly
- Delayed Radiation Injury – necrotic wounds in soft tissue and bone that occur long after radiation treatments
- Gas Gangrene – severe muscle infections known as clostridial myositis and myonecrosis
- Intracranial Abscess – infections of the brain, especially in patients with compromised immune systems
- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections – severe infections that progress rapidly from flesh-eatingbacteria
- Osteomyelitis – Trauma induced chronic bone infections that resist conventional treatments
- Severe Anemia – acute blood loss that occurs from combat wounds or severe trauma
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.