5 PRP Truths Insurance Companies Should Admit
As PRP therapy gains traction among consumers, people are discovering one unpleasant truth: insurance companies do not cover most PRP therapies. If you want PRP injections to help with the pain of osteoarthritis, you will pay for them out-of-pocket. The same is true should you choose PRP injections for a sports injury, alopecia, or any other applicable condition.
PRP therapy is in the same position that chiropractic and acupuncture were 30 years ago. Insurance companies consider it experimental medicine and therefore will not pay for it. However, insurance companies might be a bit disingenuous here. As proof, here are five PRP truths insurance companies should admit:
1. They Cover One Procedure
Despite categorizing PRP therapy as experimental, insurance companies already cover at least one procedure: topical PRP applications for wound healing. If you have ever had surgery, your doctor may have utilized PRP during your recovery.
This is no new procedure. It has been around a long time. Surgeons apply PRP laden dressings to surgical wounds knowing full well that the dressings will promote faster and more thorough healing. PRP has proven itself to the point that the procedure is as common as closing wounds with sutures.
2. It’s Not As Experimental As They Claim
Insurance companies should also admit that PRP therapy is not as experimental as they claim. There is plenty of science supporting the idea that blood platelets and growth factors promote healing separate from any medical procedure.
For example, pull a muscle during exercise and your body will respond to the injury with platelets and growth factors. It is a natural response typified by inflammation. All PRP therapy does is encourage that response by introducing a higher concentration of platelets and growth factors.
3. It is Safe
PRP therapy is often described as potentially unsafe. It is not. A typical PRP procedure utilizes blood drawn from the patient being treated. According to Apex Biologix, the blood is then spun in a centrifuge to isolate platelets and growth factors before being injected at the treatment site. That’s all there is to it.
It is safe because patients are providing their own blood. Therefore, there is no risk of rejection. And because the procedure is minimally invasive, the only real risk is the small risk of infection common to all procedures in which needles are utilized.
4. It is Minimally Invasive
As just mentioned, PRP therapy is minimally invasive. It utilizes one needle for the blood draw and a second needle for the injection. That’s it. There are no scalpels or incisions; there are no sutures or staples; there are no open wounds requiring dressings. Compare that to joint replacement surgery and it’s clear why some osteoarthritis patients prefer PRP therapy.
5. Healing Is the Goal
This last truth is one that could save insurance companies plenty of money if they would simply embrace it. Here it is: the goal of PRP therapy, and all regenerative medicine therapies for that matter, is healing. The contrast is easy to see when you view PRP therapy as an osteoarthritis treatment.
Routine osteoarthritis treatments include steroid injections, pain medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Among the four, only physical therapy seeks to get to the root of the problem. Even so, physical therapy alone cannot heal. As for the other three, their only purpose is to address symptoms.
PRP therapy is designed to encourage healing. And when healing does occur, it eliminates the need for other treatments. That is appealing to a lot of people. It is apparently not appealing to insurance companies. Is it any wonder they will not cover PRP treatments?