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Stem cell therapy is becoming more and more popular today as many swear by the results they get. Among its many uses are treating shoulder injuries and ailments.
So a common question many people have is, “does Medicare cover stem cell therapy for shoulders?” In this article, we answer this question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of stem cell therapy for shoulders, as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Stem Cell Therapy For Shoulders?
The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of stem cell therapy for shoulders. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your stem cell therapy for shoulders.
Currently, neither Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) cover stem cell therapy for shoulders. The only stem cell therapy that they cover are:
- allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT)
- autologous stem cell transplantation (Au-SCT)
The reason why all Medicare Services does not cover stem cell therapy for shoulders is that it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As stem cell therapy matures and has a chance to prove itself more, hopefully that will change.
How Much Does Stem Cell Therapy For Shoulders Cost?
The cost of stem cell therapy for shoulders can vary widely. It can range from as low as $1,500 to as much as $10,000. It all depends on your situation and where you get your treatment.
About Stem Cell Therapy For Shoulders
Stem cell therapy can provide relief to those suffering from chronic shoulder pain. There are a number of different shoulder ailments or injuries that stem cells can treat. Some of them include:
- Reducing inflammation due to arthritis
- Repairing tears in a ligament or the rotator cuff
- Regenerating cartilage in the shoulder ball
- Rebuilding tendons, ligaments and/or bone tissue
- Healing the root cause of conditions like osteoarthritis
It’s reporting that these treatments can keep working for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are cells that generate other cells that have a specific function in our body. To explain this more simply, nerve cells and blood cells both have their unique functions. However, both of them come from stem cells.
If kept under the right conditions in a human’s body or a laboratory, stem cells can divide into more cells known as daughter cells. Not every cell that stem cells generate are specialized cells, however. They also generate new stem cells.
Stem cell therapy uses stem cells to repair damaged, dead, or dysfunctional tissues. It is also known as regenerative medicine and is slowly becoming the alternative to organ transplants.
Researchers grow and manipulate stem cells in a laboratory. Stem cells are manipulated into specialized cells such as nerve cells, blood cells, liver cells, etc. The specialized cells are then implanted into the patient. The specialized cells that are implanted in the patient depend on the body part that has damaged cells.
Two common sources of stem cells are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
Adult stem cells are found in most adult tissues such as bone marrow and fat. Researchers are currently studying how effective adult stem cells are in treating various conditions.
Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells are more versatile because it’s been confirmed that they are able to divide into specialized cells. (This has not been confirmed in adult stem cells yet.) Embryonic stem cells come from 3-5 days old embryos.
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 regenerative medicine?