Does Hyperbaric Chamber Treatment Require a Prescription?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that can help with many conditions. This therapy involves breathing pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. You might have heard about hyperbaric chamber treatment and wondered if you can use HBOT for your condition. Read on if you are wondering if you need a prescription for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What is Hyperbaric Chamber Treatment?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is an alternative treatment for various conditions. It involves breathing pure oxygen in an enclosed chamber pressurized with 100 % oxygen at 2 to 2.4 times normal atmospheric pressure. Your doctor can prescribe HBOT to treat certain conditions that may benefit from HBOT treatment. Doctors prescribe HBOT to treat gangrene, unhealing wounds, and other conditions that may benefit from HBOT therapy. 

Conditions That Require HBOT Prescription

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help treat many conditions if prescribed by your doctor. For example, you can use hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat acute carbon monoxide poisoning within 24 hours after exposure. 

The conditions that require HBOT prescription include:

  • Chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and arterial ulcers
  • Central nervous system disorders like strokes and traumatic brain injuries
  • Decompression sickness or “the bends” from scuba diving at higher altitudes
  • Anemia caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients
  • Gas gangrene: A bacterial infection that causes severe tissue damage
  • Chronic wounds: Wounds that do not heal properly or at all
  • Acute or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) 
  • Depression and anxiety disorders
  • Concussions, migraines, and headaches
  • Dizziness and vertigo

You Need a Prescription for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

You need a prescription from your doctor to get hyperbaric chamber treatment because it’s a medical procedure. Your doctor will assess your condition and decide whether or not HBOT is right for you. You also need to make an appointment with your doctor to determine if you’re a good candidate for this treatment. Your doctor will assess your eligibility for BHOT based on medical history and the condition’s severity.

Does My Insurance Cover HBOT?

Many insurance companies cover HBOT for certain conditions, but not all do. Check with your insurance company about any specific requirements like needing a prescription before starting treatment to receive coverage. If you have a PPO plan, the chances are good that your insurance will cover it because it’s considered a “medically necessary” procedure. If you have an HMO plan, it may be challenging to get approval for HBOT unless your condition is severe or life-threatening (e.g., carbon monoxide poisoning).

Because Medicare and other private health insurances cover HBOT, you need a prescription from your doctor before getting hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Your insurance company won’t pay for HBOT unless your doctor has prescribed it. The insurance company that covers you may require pre-authorization from your physician before they will pay for the treatment.

Medicare or private insurance plans may not cover HBOT for some illnesses because they don’t qualify for coverage. You may consider other options like taking an over-the-counter supplement or an over-the-counter (OTC) cream or gel instead of HBOT.

How Can I Get a Prescription for HBOT?

You’ll need to schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can recommend one of several centers that offer HBO treatment. Your doctor will want to know about any medical conditions and medications you’re taking. This information will help your doctor decide how often and how long you should spend in a hyperbaric chamber. Your doctor may also want to see some of your blood work results before recommending hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

To get a prescription for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you need to do the following:

  1. Make an appointment with your doctor
  2. Give them paperwork about your condition and how you think it could be treated better with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  3. Get approved by your doctor and nurse practitioner (if needed)
  4. Visit a hyperbaric center and commence treatment 

How Long Does HBOT Take?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered in sessions of about 2 hours. The number of sessions needed depends on the severity of your condition and how quickly it responds to treatment. Typically, sessions are required, with one session per day at first. Your doctor can then taper the sessions off over time until you can manage with just one or two weekly treatments.

Hyperbaric Chambers Are Not for Everyone

Hyperbaric chambers are not for everyone. People with certain health conditions may not be able to use HBOT safely because it can worsen these conditions. Therefore, some people should not use them, including pregnant women and children under 12. If you have any heart condition or lung disease, speak with your doctor before undergoing HBOT treatment. Also, avoid hyperbaric chambers if you have recently had surgery on your brain or spinal cord because these areas are sensitive to increased pressure.

Get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Today

After prescription, you can access hyperbaric chamber treatment from several hyperbaric centers. HBOT can help you to recover faster and with less pain. Look for a hyperbaric center with modern equipment and qualified personnel. HBOT can help improve blood circulation and oxygen levels, promote healing, and decrease inflammation caused by injury or infection. You could experience enhanced immunity, high energy levels, vitality, and wellbeing. 

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