Independent Hyperbaric Clinics

Many hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) providers operate independently from hospitals, whether in freestanding clinics, physician offices, wellness centers, or commercial buildings. Patients travel to the facility each day for treatment.

Independent HBOT clinics vary widely in the diseases and conditions they treat, the hyperbaric equipment they use, and the kinds of clinical and technical staff they employ.

Most independent HBOT clinics are privately owned not-for-profit or for-profit corporations or limited liability companies. Medical directors typically own and operate such enterprises, sometimes in partnership with staff physicians or other investors.

Hyperbaric Treatment

Independent hyperbaric oxygen therapy clinics may treat a mix of approved and investigational (“off-label”) indications. Some independent clinics participate in clinical trials to produce peer-reviewed evidence about off-label indications. Many do not.

Independent clinics are not equipped to provide HBOT to emergency or intensive care patients. They may provide follow-up care for conditions initially treated at trauma centers.

Some independent centers offer treatment for a broad range of diseases and conditions. The medical director (MD or DO) of the clinic will coordinate with primary care and specialist physicians to determine the appropriate hyperbaric oxygen therapy protocol for the patient’s condition.

Other independent centers focus on specialty categories, such as chronic wounds, diving-related conditions like decompression sickness. The medical director, staff physicians, and clinical staff may have specialty training in the relevant medical discipline in addition to professional certification in hyperbaric medicine.

 Learn more about diseases and conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including approval status and patient resources.

Diseases and Conditions

Doctors and Medical Staff

The medical director (MD or DO) of an independent hyperbaric treatment center usually holds a specialty certification in hyperbaric medicine. Nurses and technicians often also hold professional credentials relevant to hyperbaric treatment.

Hyperbaric Chambers

Independent treatment centers may use monoplace or multiplace chambers or both. Monoplace chambers are usually found in pairs. Some independent centers operate six or more monoplace chambers.

Other clinics use one or more multiplace chambers. Patients being treated at a clinic using multiplace chambers should expect that other patients and staff will accompany them during treatment.

 Learn more about hyperbaric chamber types and their benefits.

Hyperbaric Chamber Types

Accreditation and Certification

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) has accredited a limited number of independent hyperbaric clinics. UHMS accredited centers have met rigorous standards for clinical practice, patient safety, and other criteria.

Many physicians and other clinicians practicing in independent hyperbaric clinics are certified by the UHMS, American College of Hyperbaric Medicine, or other professional associations in hyperbaric medicine or related specialties, such as wound care.

Cost

Fees for hyperbaric treatment at independent clinics are among the lowest available. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers usually do reimburse for treatment of FDA-cleared indications at independent HBOT clinics. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers generally do not not reimburse policyholders for treatment of off-label indications, although coverage may vary by individual carrier and by state or region.

Treatment Center Directory

The HyperbaricLink directory provides extensive information about participating hyperbaric treatment centers, including:

  • treatment center type
  • practice areas and capabilities
  • accreditations and certifications
  • clinical staff
  • hyperbaric chamber types
  • hours of operation
  • map and directions
  • contact information

 Use the directory to learn more about hyperbaric facilities in your area.

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Updated: 31 Aug 2015 01:20 PM
Created: 08 Oct 2010 12:00 AM
By: About the authors »