The big stumbling block for PRP is insurance acceptance. Right now, the insurance companies gleefully ignore the 0232T code – the CPT code for Platelet-Rich Plasma injections, with or without image guidance including its harvesting and preparation. But as they’ll soon realize, not accepting PRP injections is actually costing them a lot of money down the road. Many physicians believe that it’s only a matter of time before the insurance start accepting it.
But even if it remains that patients have pay out of the pocket for these injections, it still is a very cost-efficient way for them to deal with chronic injuries and degeneration.
Here are six ways we know.
1. Symptom management v/s true healing
Typical drug-based approach to healthcare is more symptom management than true healing. This is because the drugs typically do nothing to promote the reversal of the root cause. Instead, they’re good at masking the symptoms. The implications of this are vast when it comes to cost. Since the root cause is not addressed, the patient becomes dependent on the drugs as the disease progresses and symptoms recur. Each time they’re given a stronger dose or a different drug until it no longer works.
Now, compare that to Platelet-Rich Plasma’s approach to actually correct the root cause by promoting healing of the broken or degenerated tissues. Often patients are healed by just one or two injections. And they’re happy for years.
In the long run, the patient who’d had Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections is less likely to develop complications leading to surgery.
2. Eliminate surgeries
This is huge. Analysts estimate that there are over 600 thousand knee-replacement surgeries performed every year. When people think of the cost of these surgeries, even minimally invasive ones, they only look at the hospital bill that may be covered by the insurance provider. But there are numerous other costs like lost productivity due to patient’s downtime, psychological costs, and even miscellaneous costs during the patient’s stay in the hospital.
Moreover, stuff like arthroscopic surgery, the most common orthopedic surgical procedure, has a history of leading to further deterioration and arthritis.
So the patient’s actual costs are high.
All of these are eliminated when you suggest your patients choose Platelet-Rich Plasma at an earlier stage.
3. Complications, scars or downtime
According to this paper, post-surgical complications can exceed $10,000 for each patient. That is just for surgeries. What about complications due to side effects of drugs? Research indicates that it’s about $1300 per adverse drug reactions.
In fact, medical complications and side effects are some of the biggest cost burdens associated with modern western medicine.
Then there are scars associated with surgeries. Not to talk about downtime.
Platelet-Rich Plasma, on the other hand, would have none of that trouble. This risk of injection is extremely low since it’s all autologous. And the procedure is done on an outpatient basis after which the patient can return to normal activities the following morning.
All of these translate to increased savings every time you recommend Platelet-Rich Plasma for your patients.
4. Multi-potential therapeutic effects
One of the problems with FDA-approved drugs is that they can only be prescribed for the stated purpose of use. A drug for arthritis patients can only be prescribed for arthritis patients even if it might help a patient with tendonitis. Thus if the patient has more than one orthopedic conditions, chances are each one will need different drugs specifically approved for that condition. Take arthritis and osteoporosis – they are treated completely different when using FDA-approved injections.
On the other hand, Platelet-Rich Plasma is multi-potential. It can be injected on…
- Knees to heal meniscus, ACL, MCL, and arthritis
- Shoulder to heal rotator cuff tears and tendonitis
- Hip to heal labrum and bursitis
- Low Back to heal spinal degeneration and sciatica
- Foot to heal Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles heel and ligament sprains
- Elbows to heal lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis
- Bone to aid the union of fractured bones
You get the point. The possibilities are endless.
This means that the patient does not have to get an assortment of drugs if they need relief for multiple symptoms and thus there is no cost of acquiring new drugs (or potentially leaving drugs unused) each time they have a symptom.
5. No research and marketing costs are added
This is one of the main advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma injections. Unlike FDA-regulated drugs, for which the companies spend millions of dollars on research, several times more on marketing and mass production, there are little capital costs involved with Platelet-Rich Plasma.
To produce it, all you will need to invest in is a good PRP Kit and a centrifuge and the patients can come and get the PRP injections an unlimited number of times.
All the research on Platelet-Rich Plasma is done by independent researchers around the world and there’s one no single entity who’s licensing it. So customers aren’t paying for bloated research funding and marketing costs.
This means you can afford to charge your patients less.
6. Outpatient treatment benefits small and independent clinics
The process of getting admitted to a hospital is mentally taxing. And most of the surgical procedures, however minimal require hospitalization. And that means you need big equipment and all sort of things. So only big hospitals can do those. There is an endless list of charges that the hospital needs to include as a standard and depending on the co-pay agreement with their insurance, the patients may end up paying anywhere from 10% to 50% of these extra unnecessary charges.
With Platelet-Rich Plasma, though, it is an outpatient treatment done in small, independent clinics as a 45-minute procedure. And these clinics are very cost-efficient in their operations because they do not need to employ a lot of staff.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in the Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Richmond Hill office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.