Indications for HBOT
As medicine evolves new technologies and new applications of old technologies, the list of indications for hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also evolving. Historically, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has published a list of approved indications. The Food and Drug Administration has a slightly different list, as it has not been updated since 1976. The European Undersea and Baromedical Society has another list, and so coverage may differ widely.
In the United States, the question is whether or not insurance plans will cover the indication that is being treated with hyperbaric oxygen. This is dependent upon your individual insurance plan, and our billing specialists will work with you to confirm coverage after you have consulted with one of our hyperbaric physician specialists and they have determined that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is appropriate for both you and for the condition in question.
Urgent Indications in stable patients:
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Decompression Illness
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Acute crush injuries and compartment
- Acute thermal burns
Commonly treated indications:
- Compromised flaps and grafts
- Chronic, refractory osteomyelitis
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Delayed radiation injury to normal tissue (soft and bony necrosis)
- Acute peripheral ischemias
How Long Does a Hyperbaric Treatment Take?
Most HBOT treatments generally take about 2 hours. Treatments for some indications can last up to 4 hours. Serious diving injuries can require a treatment for longer than 5 hours. The hyperbaric physician will determine how long each patient’s HBOT treatment will last.
Because we are not equipped to treat critically ill patients, the list of indications that we would consider being appropriate and safe in our facilities excludes some emergent indications. These would include patients who are intubated, on intravenous drugs and fluids and who require continuous monitoring. However, in some instances, we can provide support to conditions that are urgent and would benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Approved Indications that have variable insurance coverage:
- Idiopathic sudden hearing loss
- Central Artery Occlusion
- Aseptic Necrosis of hip and knee
- Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD)
- Lyme Disease
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Preconditioning for Surgery and Accelerated Recovery