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does Medicare cover hyperbaric chamber

Does Medicare Cover Hyperbaric Chamber?

Hyperbaric chambers place the patient in a setting with a higher air pressure than the normal atmospheric pressure. Doing this increases oxygen consumption which can have beneficial therapeutic effects. It is used to treat many different types of medical conditions. 

If you would like to get this type of treatment, you probably want to know “does Medicare cover hyperbaric chamber?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You’ll also find some average cost data about how much this type of treatment is.

Does Medicare Cover Hyperbaric Chamber?

The short answer is yes. Medicare will cover the cost of a hyperbaric chamber session. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, certain conditions have to be met in order for Medicare to pay for your hyperbaric chamber session. Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for hyperbaric chamber sessions. Part B provides coverage for your hyperbaric chamber session if it is considered medically necessary. The operation must also be first ordered by your healthcare provider for Original Medicare to provide coverage.

Coverage for hyperbaric oxygen therapy is provided by Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B considers undergoing a hyperbaric chamber therapy medically necessary if it will be used to treat the following medical conditions: 

  • Acute carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Decompression sickness
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Crush injury
  • Compromised skin grafts
  • Gas embolism
  • Gas gangrene
  • Acute traumatic peripheral ischemia
  • Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
  • Progressive necrotizing infections
  • Chronic refractory osteomyelitis. However, you will receive coverage only if you have tried conventional ways to treat it and it did not work
  • Osteoradionecrosis, but it has to be accompanied by conventional treatment
  • Soft tissue radionecrosis, but has to be accompanied by conventional treatment
  • Actinomycosis, but has to be accompanied by conventional treatment, and if antibiotics and surgical treatment did not work
  • Diabetic wounds of the lower extremities
    • If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes and have a lower extremity wound caused by your diabetes
    • Your wound is classified as Wagner grade III or higher
    • Standard wound therapy is not enough to treat your wound

Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the costs of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You will pay for the remaining 20 percent as coinsurance. 

Part C Coverage for Hyperbaric Chamber

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for hyperbaric chamber therapy. These Advantage plans must cover everything Original Medicare covers. They provide coverage for additional treatments and services as well. The specifics of what each plan covers and how much the costs are for this extra coverage will vary from plan to plan.

How Much Does Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy Cost?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can cost anywhere between $100 to over $1,000. This cost varies depending mainly on the provider and the length of the session.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare Cover Purewick?

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