Straightforward information about the real cost of stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy treatments are sweeping the nation as an effective, minimally invasive alternative treatment option for chronic and degenerative conditions that were previously only manageable. Patients everywhere are raving about the headway they have made through stem cell therapy treatments with osteoarthritis, damage to tendons, ligaments and cartilage, MS, Parkinson’s disease and even spinal damage. For most of these conditions, treatment can be invasive, dangerous and ineffective. As we learn more about medication dependency, it’s only natural to want to move toward treatments that promote healing without committing to a lifetime of prescriptions. Stem cell therapy treatments are the revolutionary answer to many of the concerns people have about surgery, medication and chronic pain but for most patients making vital medical decisions, cost is high on the factor list. Stem cell therapy treatments are often taken off the table as a viable treatment option because patients are concerned about the costs.
Why the Cost of Stem Cell Matters
Stem cell treatment has been around for decades, but as the therapy moves into the mainstream, many people are considering stem cell treatment options for the first time with an understandable amount of uncertainty about what the treatment can do and how effective it will be on their condition. That uncertainty can lead patients to forgo even exploring the cost of stem cell treatment to choose a more familiar option like surgery and medication. Healthcare costs aren’t going to decrease any time soon, so making the decision to spend on a big ticket medical treatment is a risk most people aren’t willing to take. Patients who decide to undergo stem cell treatment have most often been battling chronic illness for a long time, and there are huge costs incurred with chronic illness treatment. Patients with a laundry list of medical costs under their belt aren’t eager to take on an additional high ticket medical treatment. At this time stem cell therapy is regularly not covered by insurance so for patients who are uncertain about the treatment and already managing heavy medical costs, paying for stem cell treatment out of pocket seems daunting.
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No Nonsense Pricing for Stem Cell Therapy
Many providers who offer stem cell therapy choose to not disclose exact pricing for the treatment on their websites, so patients’ searches for the bottom line costs often come up short. One of the reasons why discussions about price are saved until the patient has been evaluated and educated on the benefits of stem cell is because the price tag is often the final determiner for our decision-making process. Providers want patients to understand how stem cell therapy can help them before misconceptions about pricing can close the door on their potentially life-changing healing experience. However, sometimes withholding the numbers can have a different effect. Many patients don’t even consider researching stem cell therapy because usually when the price isn’t listed for an item or service that’s an indication the cost is very high.
“Make sure you’re evaluating the upfront cost of stem cell therapy against the total long-term costs of choosing conventional treatment options.”
Let’s start at the high end of the spectrum and work our way down. Cultured Stem Cell Procedures are currently being offered outside of the U.S, and some patients are making the trip to receive the therapy. Cultured Stem Cell Procedures work much like the stem cell treatments currently available in the U.S.; they are used to treat orthopedic and degenerative conditions as well as other advanced chronic conditions with positive results. When stem cells are extracted for cultured stem cell therapy, instead of being used immediately, the cells are allowed to grow and increase in number and potency before being used for the treatment. Costs for cultured stem cell procedures can start at about $15-17k per treatment. This number does not include the price of travel.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is not specifically a stem cell treatment, but the therapy relies on the same healing and regenerative properties of stem cells using the platelets in your blood to command growth factors and cytokines to the affected area for cell regrowth and regeneration. PRP treatments are popular among athletes and are the most cost-effective of all of the regenerative therapy options available. PRP treatments can range from $1-3k per treatment.
You can learn more about the specifics of each of these treatments here.
Weighing Your Options
Before sticker shock sets in, weigh your options when considering the price of stem cell therapy and compare the price to the alternative treatment available. Surgery for many orthopedic conditions can cost in upwards of $50k, and although surgery can be covered under insurance, you are still faced with premium payments, co-pays, and deductibles that come out of pocket for surgery costs. Consider the recovery time required for surgery and the possibility of being out of work for anywhere from three to six months following the procedure.
For another source of information about the cost of stem cell therapy, read this article from abc7.com: New advances in ‘PRP’ and stem cell therapy help ease pain of aching joints.
Making Your Decision
The decision to follow a medical treatment plan should never be taken lightly, and the cost of treatment shouldn’t be enough to sway you toward one option for affordability. There are a few questions you should ask yourself while making your pro/con list to decide if you will choose stem cell therapy treatment above traditional treatment options.