As many patients know, much hidradenitis surgery, including CO2 laser excision and marsupialization, is not reimbursed at an appropriate rate by insurance companies. The poor reimbursement has led many physicians to avoid caring for patients with HS, and prompted the HS Institute to become a fee-for-service provider wherein no insurance plans are accepted. We continue to work with most insurance plans in our efforts to facilitate insurance coverage, primarily through a reimbursement system for services provided.
Factors which determine the complexity of a treatment session determine the cost of surgery. These factors include time of the procedure, materials used during the surgery, patient comfort issues and medications needed for pain control, and safety of anesthetic agents used. Large areas, requiring greater quantities of local anesthesia, demand careful determinations of total dose of such medications. Treatment of a single region can therefore require several sessions for completion. Additional sessions are typically at lesser costs.
Utilizing the CO2 laser surgery for treatment of HS is still a relatively new treatment modality and as such, is not properly reimbursed by insurance plans. The HS Institute would like to enlist the help of all patients and their networks to “get the word out” by contacting their insurance company to discuss HS and this form of treatment. We believe that as insurance companies learn more about the effectiveness of the surgery, they will adjust their reimbursement appropriately.
Notable benefits to the CO2 laser surgery for HS include:
The treatment appears to be much more successful than other treatments, thereby reducing the need for repeat surgeries, and improving the overall costs of care.
The treatment can usually be done in the office, using local anesthesia, thereby avoiding the cost of operating rooms, and the risks of general anesthesia.
The treatment does not require post-operative hospital recovery. This further reduces the cost of the surgery, and allows patients to resume their normal life activities more quickly.
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