Stem cell therapy is an innovative medical advancement in the field of regenerative medicine. Using the patient’s own stem cells extracted from his or her bone marrow, stem cell therapy treatment involves injecting those stem cells into the target area of the patient to repair and possibly regrow damaged and destroyed cells. For example, stem cell therapy can potentially help a patient suffering from shoulder arthritis by repairing the cartilage in the shoulder joint.
One of most patients’ chief concerns when it comes to medical treatments is the cost of the treatment. Stem cell therapy is still considered an experimental procedure; therefore, most health insurance plans will not cover it. If you are interested in an alternative to surgery for a rotator cuff tear, shoulder arthritis, or other joint-related medical issue, it’s vital to understand the cost of stem cell treatment and what to expect from the procedure.
Eligibility for Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is a less invasive alternative to surgery for many joint-related conditions, but it is not suitable for everyone. People who have active cancers, infections, or blood-related illnesses should not undergo stem cell therapy. Additionally, people who have had cancers that affected the bone marrow may not be able to receive stem cell therapy as the procedure requires the patient’s own stem cells harvested from bone marrow.
Determining the Cost of Stem Cell Therapy
Treatment providers offering stem cell therapy generally price their treatments around several factors:
- The severity of the patient’s condition.
- The number of areas on the body the patient would like to have treated.
- The amount of stem cells required to complete the patient’s treatment.
After assessing these factors, most patients will end up paying anywhere from $1,200 to $7,000. More extensive procedures will be more expensive, but many patients find that financing options greatly offset the initial financial burden. Additionally, the efficacy of these treatments offers long-lasting relief. Stem cells received during a treatment session will continue working for up to one full year after the initial procedure.
If you are interested in stem cell therapy for any type of joint-related medical issue, start assessing the potential cost by first evaluating how much treatment you think you need. For example, treating one shoulder is far less expensive than treating both shoulders and additional joints in the same procedure. Some patients prefer to space out their stem cell therapy sessions for multiple joints so they can pace their recovery times, and multiple procedures will typically incur greater cost.
Why Doesn’t Insurance Cover Stem Cell Therapy?
Most private medical insurance plans in the United States will not cover stem cell treatments. Even though stem cell therapy and the field of regenerative medicine have made significant progress in recent years, the insurance community may still be catching up to that research. Patients who are concerned about stem cell therapy’s ineligibility for health insurance coverage should schedule a consultation with a stem cell therapy provider for an individualized assessment of the stem cell therapy costs. Most patients find that financing options make this treatment affordable, and they can enjoy relief from their symptoms with minimal financial strain.