For those who have undergone tried-and-true methods of depression treatment, TMS therapy is a great solution. But what is the cost of TMS treatment, and will insurance cover it?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment uses electromagnetic energy. A TMS technician places a magnetic coil over the head of a person, and magnetic fields pass through the skull forming an electric field underneath it. It passes painlessly, and it can stimulate brain cells that are underactive in the prefrontal cortex or other areas of the brain.
By stimulating these areas with magnetic pulses, the non-invasive process can improve symptoms of mental health disorders. TMS therapy is a kind of brain stimulation therapy that is mainly used to treat depression, especially for those who have experienced resistance to traditional methods of treatment.
It is normally a treatment option that comes up after months or years of trying traditional treatments such as talk therapy or antidepressant medications. But while TMS therapy is often not considered a first-line treatment, it has recently been used for the treatment of other types of medical and mental health conditions.
While treatment-resistant depression is the most common condition that TMS therapy is used for, there is evidence that TMS can help other disorders. These include obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, alcohol dependence, drug addiction, Tourette syndrome, Schizophrenia, and anorexia nervosa. It has also been shown to be a very effective treatment for the neurological disorder called Parkinson's disease.
Many factors affect the cost of TMS therapy. The treatment costs will vary according to which disorder or medical condition is being treated, as this determines how many sessions a person will need.
As a method of treating depression symptoms, TMS treatment can be cost-effective if a person has health insurance. Insurance will usually cover costs depending on a person's medical history and the kind of TMS treatment they wish to undergo. Those with insurance coverage may be able to get most of the treatment costs covered, decreasing the overall price to something that could equal the cost of a course of antidepressants.
Although the cost of TMS will also vary according to where it is administered, a TMS therapy session generally costs around $300. Since multiple sessions are needed over weeks, a total course of treatment could cost anywhere between $6,000 and $12,000.
Before starting treatment, a psychiatric assessment and an analysis of a person's medical history will be done. The initial consultation will determine which kind of treatment one needs for a psychiatric disorder, and this indicates the duration of the treatment.
Structural TMS treatment is focused on the individual, and a treatment plan is designed according to what is best for them. Someone may undergo bilateral TMS, where both the right and left side of the brain is stimulated, or undergo accelerated TMS therapy which is a little bit faster.
TMS therapy sessions will also vary depending on how the person responds to treatment. Someone may need only one course of treatment, whereas others may need a second.
Typically, the treatment of severe depression requires fifteen to thirty sessions. Accelerated TMS therapy is the most common method, and consists of a session per day for five days a week, over the course of four to six weeks. While most patients feel a difference after three to four weeks, a person may require a second course of treatment.
The treatment session itself lasts between half an hour to an hour but leaves a person unaffected and able to carry out normal activities after, such as driving themselves home.
TMS therapy is proven to be an effective treatment for mental disorders and has provided researchers with hope for using biological alterations to the brain to treat mental conditions. Especially successful for those who have a severe major depressive disorder and those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression, TMS therapy has been the key for people who have done years of therapy and suffered many side effects of antidepressants with no positive outcomes.
Around 50% to 60% of people with depression who have not had benefits from medications for depression have had a meaningful response to TMS, while one-third of these people experience symptoms of depression going away completely. At the same time, response and remission rates when combining psychotherapy and TMS for those with treatment-resistant depression are around 66%, making TMS sessions an agent to psychotherapy.
For other medical conditions such as PTSD, TMS treatment has shown a response rate of around 50%, with patients having significantly improved symptoms. Research on deep TMS used for treating OCD found that 45% of patients have reduced symptoms within a month of treatment.
There are many factors involved in whether insurance will cover the cost of TMS therapy. Which healthcare provider someone uses can be a predictor of insurance coverage, as many doctors only work with particular insurance companies.
An FDA-approved course of treatment is usually covered by most major insurance companies. Covering the cost of TMS therapy may depend on eligibility requirements that vary among each insurance company. For example, some companies may offer insurance coverage only for those who have tried at least four antidepressant medications before attempting TMS, while others may require a history of talk therapy.
Many insurance providers are lenient when it comes to TMS coverage or treatment costs, while other insurance companies may be limited to only specific treatment options.
Even though most major insurance companieswill cover the cost of TMS for those suffering from depression, they may not cover the treatment for other conditions. Insurance providers usually cover treating depression as TMS treatment is FDA approved for this condition.
In the case of treating some disorders, an insurance company may not cover it despite a health professional giving a person the green light to use the therapy, as it is not yet FDA approved.
It is best to consult insurance companies after an initial consultation with a doctor, to know exactly which costs of TMS therapy they are willing to cover. TMS therapy has been FDA approved for the treatment of OCD, smoking cessation, major depressive disorder, and anxious depression.
TMS therapy has many benefits, most of which are not true for other treatment options. It is increasingly being used as part of one of the most beneficial mental health services.
While traditional medication for depression may be unsuccessful, more than half of people who have not had success with traditional treatments for depression have a positive response to TMS. TMS therapy is successful in helping depression and other mental health disorders and thereby gives a person a chance for better overall health. In most patients, the benefits of TMS therapy were maintained.
TMS treatment only requires a person to attend appointments at a clinic or health facility. This means that a person can attend treatment and continue daily life without much disruption. Treatment sessions are also short and leave a person unaffected afterward.
Unlike most treatments, TMS has very few if any side effects. Most people describe the side effects of TMS as uncomfortable at most, and they are very short-lived as well. TMS skips the diffuse and systemic reactions that occur in the whole body when ingesting antidepressants, meaning that a person has no fatigue, nausea, memory loss, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, or weight gain when undergoing treatment.
The treatment is only dangerous to those who have deep brain stimulators, brain stents, aneurysm clips, bullet pieces, facial tattoos, or other metal implants in or around their heads. This is because the metal may interact with TMS machines.
Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, TMS treatments do not require sedation or the use of pain relievers. TMS machines stimulate nerve cells in the front part of the brain in a non-invasive procedure, while patients are comfortable and awake.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulationis considered as effective as electroconvulsive therapy for major depression but comes without any memory impairment.
No prescription drugs are needed for TMS treatment, and medication does not need to be stopped to start treatment either. If someone is benefiting from psychiatric drugs, they will not need to worry about drug interactions or side effects in combining it with TMS.
GIA Miami is a mental health clinic specializing in TMS therapy. We understand that battling addiction, facing depression, or dealing with any other mental condition is extremely challenging.
That is why we are here to help. By using a range of cutting-edge technologies, we offer the most advanced, evidence-based treatment approaches, tailored to suit your needs. Our team consists of medical professionals and internationally acclaimed experts who have years of experience in treating mental health conditions.
GIA Miami can help you start TMS therapy today.
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