What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?
We often get asked how much HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy costs. To answer that let’s first explain what HBOT is.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a non-invasive treatment that greatly increases the amount of oxygen in a person’s bloodstream, promoting stem cell mobilization and repairing damaged tissue to heal wounds internal and external wounds in the body. The versatility of the therapy ensures that it can be utilized by a wide range of patients, including diabetics. This treatment is also highly effective for those who’ve experienced a concussion, a stroke, or cancer treatments, it is often incorporated into a variety of health optimization and recovery plans.
After understanding how HBOT can be of benefit, most people then ask how much such a powerful health tool will cost. The answer is that it depends
How Much Does (HBOT) Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost?
What a patient will have to pay for HBOT will vary depending upon a number of important factors. The condition or reason for care, the specific insurance plan, and the severity of symptoms all factor into the type of care you will need. Here is a breakdown of these three major determinants that play a significant role in its cost:
1) Is your condition considered On-Label or Off-Label?
There are several injuries and illnesses for which the FDA has approved the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (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 ischemia
- Necrotizing soft tissue infection
- Carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation
- Central retinal artery occlusion
- Non-healing wounds
- Gas gangrene
- Decompression sickness
FDA approval often means it is covered by the patient’s insurance.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has a wide range of applications. Through research and studying treatment outcomes, HBOT is used around the world to help in the treatment of many conditions, illnesses, and injuries. These are currently considered off-label in the United States, meaning, they have 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 being ineffective or unsafe. For example, many types of pharmaceutical drugs are commonly prescribed off-label by physicians in the United States every day.
2) Who is providing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and where are they located?
Two of the larger factors that determine Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy cost are Provider Type and Location of Treatment.
Generally speaking, providers of HBOT fall into two categories – hospital-based and independent. The cost of care and experience at each are 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.
Here at R3 Wound care and Hyperbarics we do both, accepting most major insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Oxford/United Healthcare, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, The Empire Plan, Medicare, Fidelis, Healthfirst, Workers’ Compensation, and more. We offer treatment for those living in the Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston areas.
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 R3. As you may know, any care provided at a hospital incurs 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 other factors unique to you.
For those with Off-label conditions you will most likely need to be seen by an independent HBOT provider and your treatment will likely not be covered by insurance at all. In this case, the cost per treatment will generally range between $250-$450 per treatment depending on the location of services. Our cost per treatment falls in the middle of that range, with several prompt-pay discounts and financing options, like CareCredit, available.
Notably, consultation appointments are covered by insurance. We recommend patients come in for a consult to learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and for us to learn more about your medical history to best determine the course of treatment that is right for you. We can also help you determine what coverage opportunities may exist.
3) How Severe Are Your Symptoms?
The last factor that affects a patient’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy cost is the severity of symptoms. Symptom severity determines the overall course of care. Like other medical ailments, 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 and what the total Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy cost will be.
If your symptoms are more severe—such as those associated with traumatic brain injuries or chronic conditions—your healthcare provider will likely recommend more HBOT sessions than for those that are less severe. The more sessions you receive, the higher the total Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy cost will be—both through insurance (co-pays/co-insurance) or through direct treatment costs.
Getting prompt treatment and taking part in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can also save you money overall. When you make it a point to effectively address a health condition or injury now, you’ll likely improve your health and avoid longer healing time as well as potential complications down the road.