Treating compromised airway clearance

hfcwo_treatment_regimenFor patients experiencing significant and chronic health challenges with airway clearance, physicians typically prescribe an integrated regimen of therapies. That regimen can include high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO), depending how a patient first responds to other treatment options.

As a typical first step, physicians will prescribe — and insurance plans will accept for reimbursement — a variety of drug therapies, often in combination with chest physiotherapy (CPT), special coughing techniques, and a range of cough-assist devices and accessories.

When these treatments fail to promote adequate bronchial drainage, it can leave a patient susceptible to recurring lung infections, other serious health risks, long-term drug side effects and diminished quality of life. In that scenario, physicians increasingly prescribe — and insurance plans increasingly reimburse for — an HFCWO device, such as the SmartVest® System by Electromed.

When can HFCWO be prescribed?

Physicians with experience prescribing HFCWO know its proven ability to help patients breathe, and live, more fully. They view HFCWO not as a last resort, but as a primary, difference-making treatment option.

However, most private and government insurance plans have reimbursement guidelines regarding which other therapies must be tried before the plan will reimburse for HFCWO.

If you are a physician seeing a patient who could benefit from HFCWO treatment, it pays to work with an HFCWO device manufacturer that offers support in navigating insurance reimbursement. They will contact insurance payers and manage the communication and documentation needed to gain pre-authorization, then reimbursement.

Meanwhile, if you are a patient or caregiver, and your physician or respiratory therapist hasn’t mentioned HFCWO as a treatment option, it’s smart to ask whether HFCWO might be effective for your particular condition and treatment plan.