Is It Covered By Insurance? 5 Words That Break Your Doctor’s Heart
Imagine how many people in America suffer from physical musculoskeletal pain the amount of drugs and surgical procedures that are done every year to pacify or reduce pain. The numbers are staggering. Now what if you had a solution that costs less than 10% of conventional treatment with more long lasting benefits. You would see a line around the corner from morning to night. But that solution isn’t accepted by the “Health Insurance.” So it is placed on the back burner, labeled as experimental and discredited by surgeons and pain management doctors that aren’t trained in this therapy.
The current healthcare climate is failing miserably, with the drug companies charging obscene prices for chemicals that may work to treat a symptom without any interest aimed at the root cause. And since a drug can be FDA approved, then an insurance company is more likely to cover the cost of the drug.
Furthermore, healthcare is neither concerned about care or health but rather management of a disease. To a corporate entity, it would be a colossal mistake to cure people versus having a life-long customer such as McDonald’s or Coca Cola. Dollars make the business world go around and Pain Management creates a billion dollar industry preying upon those in suffering.
Whether you can see the conspiracy or not, the government, insurance and drug companies are all working together and pillaging the country. For example, it is well know that anti-inflammatory drugs like Naproxen (sold over the counter as Aleve) can damage the stomach lining so an anti-acid drug such as Pepcid can help to counteract these effects. Both of these drugs are very cheap for under $15. The novelty of a prescription combination drug of these two has the price tag of over $1000 and the insurance companies are covering the cost completely!
Now let’s look at Prolotherapy and Regenerative Injections. Prolotherapy is an injection of concentrated Dextrose (sugar) with a local anesthetic. It has been used since the early 1900s to thicken and regrow ligaments, tendons and cartilage with approximately 80% success rate. This, in addition to PRP (platelet rich plasma) and Stem cell injections are all considered “experimental” and the FDA is “currently evaluating” the efficacy for conditions such as tennis elbow and low back pain. 80% success is better than most surgical outcomes yet still not covered by insurance. For procedures that cost under $5000, an insurance company would jump on the idea versus spending 10 times that on a typical knee joint replacement with hospital care included.
Pain Management falls under “Standard of Care” which is a guideline that basically goes from less invasive to more invasive approaches to treat symptoms for a patient:
- Ice and Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Aspirin (NSAIDs)
- Physical Therapy
- Cortisone Shots (Steroid Anti-inflammatory)
- Viscosupplementation (Hyaluronic Acid or Rooster Comb Shots) into Joints
- Arthroscopic Surgery (Clean up or cut away loose tissues)
- Partial or Total Joint Replacement)
There is a predictable path of disease and degeneration that takes decades to occur and when a surgeon says that one day you will need a joint replacement, they are correct, given you follow this standard of care “disease” model. If only there were an alternative that can regenerate tissue…
There is a safe and effective way that doesn’t involve surgery, scars or drugs to actually work at regenerating tissue that, on its own, has a very poor ability to heal. Sounds too good to be true right? Well its all in the healing process of the body and basic physiology. No new cutting edge designer drug here or fancy patent pending device. Simply sugar, your own blood and or stem cells (which are located throughout the body). Drug companies cannot make money off of this and the value is in the doctor’s skill and time; which has been devalued almost entirely in the conventional model of 10 minute visits and standard of care policies. Currently, if a doctor thinks outside the box, they are liable to lose their license should something happen. Aren’t doctors trained to know how the body works and facilitate the healing process? In theory, Yes but in conventional practice, No!
So as a practicing doctor who has been healing numerous patients who have the means to pay cash for these procedures, it has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to help them regain their lives and get out of pain. But I feel stunted in the number of people who I can help that simply cannot afford such procedures. I see the look in every patients’ eyes when I have to tell them it is NOT covered by insurance and that BREAKS MY HEART.
I completely understand how expensive insurance policies are with high monthly payments and even higher deductibles that never get met. The insurance companies and FDA are well aware of the success rates of Prolotherapy and Regenerative Injection Therapies. If I were on their side, this would be a threat to their financial gain that they have set in place. Awareness is the most important process at this point. As a citizen, I urge you to write to your local congress and your insurance company asking to include these into policy.
The world of Natural Medicine is gaining major growth and demand as the synthetic chemicals that we thought were safe are proving to have more and more long term side effects. Find a Naturopathic Physician wherever you are to be an advocate for your health and consider Regenerative Injection Therapies to resolve pain versus management of symptoms so you can start living your life to the best and brightest level.
Steven Sorr, NMD
Regenerative Injection Specialist