Oxygen insufficiency in the blood causes a plethora of issues in the body, ranging from mild exhaustion and migraine headaches to life-threatening diseases. For those who are in distress caused by low levels of oxygen, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be the best treatment for them. What exactly is it and how much does hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost?
The Average Cost of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
A single hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost can range from $200 to $450 per session, but can be as high as $1,000 to $2,500 per treatment at major hospitals. This price range still does not include consultation fees and other tests.
For patients with insurance, the average cost for this treatment is around $350. For instance, if they are required to undergo 29 sessions, the approximate amount they could shell out is around $10,150.
However, there are some insurance policies with a copay of around $10 to $50 or 10% to 50% coinsurance coverage.
Average Cost of a Hyperbaric Chamber
A hyperbaric chamber is a machine that is utilized to treat different health conditions by transporting more oxygen through more than the typical atmospheric pressures.
If you want a machine all to yourself or if you want to put up your own HBOT center, you would be interested in knowing the price of hyperbaric chambers. Keep in mind though the type of hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers that are allowed to be installed at home because some might not be due to safety reasons.
There are two primary types of hyperbaric chambers: monoplace and multiplace.
- The Monoplace Chamber
A monoplace chamber, as the name suggests, allows only one person at a time per treatment. It is typically around 8 feet in length and around 3 feet in diameter.
The walls are typically made of clear acrylic, which ensures patients do not develop claustrophobia while the treatment is going on. This is due to the fact that they can see through the machine, which may reduce their anxiety.
Several monoplace chambers have masks available to supply an alternative breathing gas. The staff will take care of the patient from the outside with control of the situation.
The brand new monoplace hyperbaric chamber costs range from $80,000 to $150,000. On the other hand, the second-hand ones range from $40,000 to $80,000.
For example, a previously owned (one previous owner only) 2010 Sechrist 3600H Hyperbaric Chamber is being sold at $67,995 and a 2010 Perry Baromedical Sigma 34 costs $49,995 at the Hyperbaric Store in Morrisville, NC.
- The Multiplace Chamber
The multiplace chamber, on the other hand, can treat more than two patients simultaneously. This is made of steel and is obviously larger than monoplace chambers as it is intended to serve five to six patients at a time.
A nurse or other personnel will be inside the chamber to monitor the patients and to evaluate the use of some equipment. In this room, the patients can breathe pure oxygen using a close-fitting plastic hood or mask.
A brand new multiplace hyperbaric chamber can cost as much as $2,000,000, while previously-owned ones can range from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
In the Hyperbaric Clearing House, you can find some quality, previously–owned multiplace chambers that suit your requirements. The multiplace hyperbaric chamber price for a second-hand machine ranges from $273,000 to $675,000, or more.
Factors Affecting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost
The overall cost you will obtain will significantly fluctuate, based on the following:
- The type of illness being treated: This is crucial in determining whether it will be covered by your insurance or not. As mentioned, the US FDA has listed several illnesses and injuries that are considered “on-label conditions.” These are typically covered by health insurance, giving you a significant savings.
- The severity of the symptoms will determine how many therapy sessions you will need. For obvious reasons, expect to spend more if you have severe symptoms.
- The choice of facility—there are a lot of independent facilities offering solely HBOT. They can be more affordable compared to big hospitals, which can charge higher due to accompanying tests and even higher overhead costs to cover. However, some insurance companies only cover therapies done in hospital settings.
- Location: As always, you have to keep in mind that where the clinic or the facility is located will have a huge impact on the price of commodities and services.
What Exactly Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy entails a patient breathing purified oxygen in a room or tank that is pressurized, letting the air pressure escalate three times its usual pressure. This process makes your lungs obtain more oxygen, which stimulates healing in ailing body tissues.
The patients commonly require a few treatments, and each requires a separate visit to a hospital or clinic with a one and-a-half-hour treatment time.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy conveys antioxidants that are proven to be extremely helpful in treating damaged tissues and repairing weakening cells.
As mentioned, HBOT is effective for a lot of health conditions, which include the following:
- decompression illness
- wounds, leg ulcers, and infections that are hard to heal
- bone and soft tissue infections
- radiation burns
- kids who have come down with brain injuries due to accidents or with congenital conditions
- multiple sclerosis patients
- severe neurological diseases
- stroke or heart attack
- Alzheimer’s disease
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- cerebral palsy
- cognitive disorders in the elderly
- exceptional blood loss or anemia
- coronary artery stents
What to Expect?
You will be provided with a set of rules that you should follow as you go for your first HBOT session. These guidelines are to ensure your safety in the hyperbaric chamber.
- Your skin and hair must be totally clean and free of any products like leave-on conditioners, moisturizers, talcum powder, and perfume.
- You must wear clothes made of 100% cotton. The hyperbaric chamber contains unmixed oxygen. Thus, it is eminently flammable, and this could cause a fire.
- You will be put on a movable bunk and then rolled into the oxygen chamber as you arrive. Commonly, the widely used device is the monoplace.
- Inside the chamber, you can nap, read, or listen to music. It also has a microphone inside that allows you to communicate with your operator outside.
- The hyperbaric oxygen therapy could last around 60 to 90 minutes.
- You can observe that your ears start to pop a bit when it works to even up the pressure in a certain chamber.
- The chamber will be decompressed after the therapy session is completed.
How To Save On Costs
If you are balancing the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy against the possible benefits, you can contact a doctor who has experience and skills in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Call them as soon as possible because putting off the treatments may escalate the number of treatments needed and this could significantly inflate the total cost. You can ask them some questions about what to expect, the cost, and/or to discuss the best course of treatment for you.
You may also want to inquire with your insurance first if the illness or injury you are suffering from is included in the list of covered or considered on-label conditions. Otherwise, prepare to pay the regular out-of-pocket price.
If you are required to have several sessions, you may want to consider getting all of the sessions in one place. This is because, typically, clinics and hospitals tend to give discounts for bulk sessions instead of one-at-a-time time.