Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, also known as HBOT, is a medical treatment which involves breathing in 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.
This type of treatment is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness and wounds that have difficulty healing.
If you are considering undertaking HBOT, it is imperative that you understand the costs associated with the treatment. In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide to the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
How Much Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Cost?
As usual with medical procedures, the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy varies depending on a number of different factors. We will discuss these factors in greater detail below, but generally they include the location of the medical facility, the reason for treatment, and the type of chamber used, amongst others.
On average, a single session of HBOT can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,000. Most patients require multiple sessions before they see results, so a full course of treatment can cost thousands of dollars.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
There are three main factors which affect the cost of HBOT, which are listed below.
- Geographic Location of the Facility
Depending on where you choose to have the treatment performed can affect the overall cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
As a general rule, urban areas are more expensive than rural areas: the same goes for areas with a higher cost of living – it is almost guaranteed to cost you more if you live in a more affluent area.
For example, the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be much higher in areas such as Beverly Hills, Manhattan and Santa Barbara than it will in small towns in rural Arkansas, Idaho and North Dakota, for example.
You could even potentially save money if you traveled to a less urban area to have the treatment performed there, if you live in a big city.
- The Type of Chamber Used for HBOT
There are two main types of chamber used in HBOT, which can affect its overall cost.
Monoplace chambers, which only accommodate one person at a time, tend to be less expensive than multiplace chambers, which can accommodate several people at once.
The cost of a monoplace chamber can range from $250 to $450, while a session in a multiplace chamber can cost anywhere upwards of $500 to $1,000.
Deciding on which type of chamber you would like to use can also affect the cost, so if there is a monoplace chamber at a medical facility near you, it is much likelier to be cheaper to use, and save you some money in the long run.
- The Reason for Your Treatment
Depending on why you decide to have HBOT can affect its overall cost. For example, most insurance companies will cover for conditions such as decompression sickness and carbon monoxide poisoning.
However, you may have to pay for HBOT if you are having it for things such as traumatic brain injuries or wounds brought on as a result of diabetes. It is important to check with your insurance provider for what they will and will not cover.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HBOT
Like with any medical procedure, there are a range of advantages and disadvantages associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We have listed some of these below.
- Reduced Pain
If you suffer from nerve damage or chronic pain, you may benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is because it can help to relieve pain and decrease discomfort, too. An explanation for this is because of the anti-inflammatory effects of the treatment itself.
- Improved Healing
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can increase the amount of oxygen in your body, which helps to promote the growth of new blood vessels. In addition, the extra oxygen in your body and bloodstream can help to reduce inflammation (as mentioned above) and also aid with fighting infections.
Not only can this lead to faster recovery times than other medical procedures, but it can also contribute to improved healing if you have wounds or injuries.
- Treatment For a Range of Conditions
HBOT can be used to treat a range of medical conditions. These include carbon monoxide poisoning, diabetic ulcers, traumatic brain injuries and even radiation induced injuries. This is therefore an advantage because it makes it a versatile treatment option which can be tailored to the specific needs of numerous patients.
There are also a number of disadvantages associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and some of these are listed below.
For some people, the cost can be enough to put them off getting HBOT. Understandably, it is a huge financial decision for some people to make, and sadly, many cannot afford to go through with it.
It is an expensive treatment because of the specialized equipment which is necessary, as well as the cost of the facilities, too. The majority of people who have undertaken the treatment also often need multiple sessions, which further increases the cost of it.
- Side Effects of HBOT
There are certain side effects associated with HBOT, even though it is generally considered safe. For example, you may experience sinus pain or ear pain while undergoing the treatment.
In rarer cases, you could potentially experience lung damage or even seizures. Despite the rarity of these side effects in the first place, it is still worth noting them down as they have a slim chance of happening.
- Time Consuming
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a time consuming procedure. As was mentioned earlier, many patients often need multiple sessions over a matter of weeks or months, which can be a huge commitment, particularly if you struggle to take time off of work.
Moreover, if you have other medical responsibilities or appointments to attend, HBOT can become a significant time commitment in this case.
Despite the costs of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, there are a number of ways in which you can pay for it, and lessen the financial burden on yourself.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, depending on your insurance provider and their policy – as well as your reason for the treatment – you may be covered for the whole cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or the majority of it, by your insurance.
However, if you are not covered by it, or do not have insurance, there are a number of other methods of how you can pay for HBOT.
Many HBOT facilities offer financing options, such as paying off a certain amount of the full cost every month for a certain amount of months or years, to ease the financial strain.
Others will sometimes offer a significant discount if you can pay the full amount off in one instalment. Saving up to pay for the whole amount may be an option if you know roughly how many treatments you will need, but it is understandably quite difficult to do so in the current economic climate.
Personal loans and credit cards are alternative options to paying off the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, although it is worth being very cautious before proceeding with this method. This is because their interest rates are often very high compared to insurance or HBOT providers, and you could incur huge amounts of personal debt if you are unable to keep up with the repayments.
Despite the high cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it is important to note that this should not be your only consideration when deciding if the treatment is right for you.
There are a range of advantages associated with it, such as increasing the oxygen level in your body which can help to fight off infections easier, as well as reducing chronic pains.
And although the cost is high, there are a variety of different payment options available to you, to help relieve the financial burden that you may be under.