FAQ: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Learn about hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the Enloe Wound/Ostomy & Hyperbaric Center in Chico, Calif., how it works, what types of conditions it can help and about billing and insurance.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a simple but effective treatment in which you breathe pure oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The therapy quickly delivers high concentrations of oxygen to your bloodstream, which helps increase your body's own natural wound-healing abilities.
How does it work?
While enclosed in a large, circular, chamber at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure, patients breathe pure oxygen, saturating the blood plasma and allowing it to carry from 15 to 20 times the normal amount of healing oxygen to the body’s tissues. When a wound does not respond to regular medical care, advanced treatments like HBOT therapy often help patients heal.
The physicians at our clinic are specialty trained in hyperbaric medicine, and each treatment is supervised by a certified clinical hyperbaric technologist and other staff. See the wound care Q&A videos.
What can this therapy help to heal?
HBOT also helps fight certain types of infections, improves circulation and stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment was originally used to treat divers suffering from the "bends" or decompression sickness but is now used to treat patients with a variety of wound healing problems including certain chronic bone infections (osteomyelitis) and other conditions. Therapy is administered daily and the number of therapies you receive depends on your individual treatment plan and prognosis.
How will I be billed?
When a physician orders hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Enloe's insurance verification staff will contact the patient's insurance company for authorization before treatment begins. Most insurance companies cover this therapy; otherwise, patients may elect to pay privately. An Enloe Financial Counselor is available at (530) 332-6749 and can help obtain financial assistance or arrange a manageable payment plan.
Do Medicare and other insurance providers cover the cost of the therapy?
Medicare and other insurance providers will cover HBOT under certain circumstances. Common outpatient indicators for HBOT that are currently reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance providers may include:
- Diabetic ulcer of the lower extremities
- Soft tissue radionecrosis and osteoradionecrosis
- Chronic refractory osteomyelitis
- Compromised skin grafts and flaps
- Crush injury/acute traumatic peripheral ischemia
- Progressive necrotizing infection (necrotizing fasciitis)
- Acute peripheral arterial insufficiency
More Answers to your questions
Enloe Wound/Ostomy & Hyperbaric Center
1026 Mangrove Suite 10
Hours: Monday through Friday, by appointment