In recent years, the practice of regenerative medicine has become a viable option for many people suffering from chronic pain in knees, hips, backs, shoulders, and other areas of pain. Regenerative treatment is a minimally invasive option for joint arthritis and musculoskeletal problems compared to highly invasive surgical procedures and joint replacements that over one million patients undergo on an annual basis in the United States. Types of regenerative treatments include PRP (platelet-rich plasma), stem cell therapy, and growth factors. These treatments may have a healing potential that surgery and other surgical alternatives do not.
If you are suffering in pain and are trying to determine what your options may be to address your pain, the first step would be to educate yourself about what your options may be. Let’s consider a bad knee or hip, for instance. A full knee, partial knee, or hip replacement may not be your only option to address the pain.
Regenerative medicine therapy may be an additional option, once you have educated yourself on the types of treatments that are available to you.
Once you have the necessary information regarding regenerative treatment, and you have determined that it may be the best route to pursue for your individual situation, there are other factors that you will want to educate yourself on. One of the first issues that will become a determining factor, in your choice and decision, is the cost of the regenerative treatment.
Let’s address the two questions:
1. Is regenerative treatment covered by my insurance plan?
2. What does the regenerative treatment cost?
Once the choice has been made that regenerative treatment is a viable option for the pain a patient is experiencing, these two questions are some of the most asked questions.
The quick answer to this question is NO. In most situations, insurance will not pay for or reimburse for regenerative medicine treatment for joints and musculoskeletal problems. One of the things that may not be taken into consideration is that while insurance will cover knee replacement and hip replacement surgeries, if they are medically determined to be necessary, there will still be an out of pocket cost to the patient. It would be impossible to say what that out of pocket cost may be because of the wide variety of insurance plans, level of deductibles, copay percentages, maximum out of pocket expense, and so forth. Some people have very good insurance coverage and some do not.
The main thought to consider is that, in most cases, a surgery will not be 100% free. There is still some cost to the underlying patient. If you polled ten patients that all had replacement surgery, you would get ten different out of pocket costs, depending on their level of coverage and specific situations. You may find that the cost of regenerative treatment is not that much more than and may be comparable to the out of pocket expense of the invasive surgical options available to you.
With a minimally invasive regenerative treatment, the recovery time and rehabilitation time are eliminated. What is that worth?
The cost of regenerative treatment for joint arthritis and musculoskeletal problems can vary from practice to practice and doctor to doctor. There isn’t an exact cost that everyone will charge, but for the purposes of our discussion, we will use a range of $600 to $2,000 for some regenerative treatments and $4,500 to $6,500 for some of the more comprehensive regenerative treatments. This compares to out of pocket expenses discussed earlier that could be $1,000 to $3,000 if you undergo a joint replacement surgery with insurance coverage. Again, these are estimates and may vary depending on many factors. When we think of steroid pain injections, there is often an additional out of pocket cost for those as well.
Many times, patients will assume that if the treatment is not covered by their insurance and if they cannot write a check for the cost of a regenerative treatment, they cannot take advantage of that option for pain relief. That may not be true. Chronic pain has no economic barriers and does not distinguish who it attaches to among patients. Before walking away from the regenerative option, educate yourself on the payment programs and payment options that may be available to you. There are several well recognized programs that are there to provide the necessary help you may want and need, in terms of payment and funding options for treatment and pain relief.
As we have discussed, education will be your best tool to address the chronic joint pain you may have been experiencing over a few months or over many, many years. Surgery, medication, or regenerative treatment is a personal and important choice. Make sure you invest the time and effort to ensure you are making the best possible decision, moving forward.
Renew Medical Centers is the place patients go for non-surgical treatment of joint arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems. In terms of treatment cost, we have different payment options available to be as accommodating as possible for our patients.
To learn more about regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, and other non-surgical treatment options, register to attend one of our free local educational classes, and get your questions answered.
If you have some questions you would like to ask before scheduling a patient consultation, request a call to start determining if you are a candidate for treatment.
If you would like to schedule a your patient consultation with one of our doctors at Renew Medical Centers and determine if you are a candidate.