How Much Does a Wound Vac Cost?
A wound VAC (vacuum assisted closure), also known as the negative pressure wound therapy, is a portable sucking device used to medicate progressive bed sores or slow-healing wounds. This type of therapy can also be used on second degree burns. Using a pump, the wound vac draws excess fluids from the bed sores or other deep wounds that seem to heal very slowly on their own and collect them into a chamber.
To have the machine installed, the bed sore or open wound is first cleaned, and then a piece of sterilized sponge is made to fit inside the wound. After which, the sponge is secured in place with a clear film, and a small cut allows a tube to hang out into the sponge. The tube is then fixed in place, and after connecting to the wound VAC, the machine is turned on to serve its purpose. Depending on the type of wound, the wound vac can either be run continually or can be turned on intermittently. When the wound vac is on, the blood flow to the area increases which allows for quicker healing.
How much does it cost?
- A wound VAC, on average, can cost $30,000 for an outright purchase.
- A source wrote on HubPages.com that a wound VAC costs around $150 a day.
- Another source claimed that the cost of renting a wound VAC is approximately $2,000 per week. Another source, who uses a portable wound VAC mini pack, rents his device for $100 per day.
- For those that have health insurance, you may be covered. Be sure to check before proceeding to see what is covered. If you do not have a health insurance plan or you are looking to switch, consider browsing through hundreds for free at eHealthInsurance.com.
What are going to be included?
- If you purchase the machine, it should come with all the necessary attachments and a users’ manual for reference. However, this will still need to be attached to your wound by a doctor or therapist.
- If you rent the machine, the charge should include all the accessories and supplies needed for the machine, as well as the visits from the licensed professional who changes the dressing a few times per week.
- The cost includes an LCD screen, some surgical steel, and other supplies.
- The machine comes with adjustable flow regulator.
- Wound VACs are qualified for Medicare reimbursement and are covered by most insurance plans as valid therapy. But there are also insurance companies that provide full coverage only on the first surgery that requires you to use a wound VAC. They will then pay only a fraction of the cost in the event you need to undergo further surgeries that will need the aid of the suction device.
What are the extra costs?
- The Devilbiss machine, for example, does not include backup battery, so you will be obliged to secure one for yourself if you choose to purchase a brand that doesn’t include a backup.
- A home-based patient with a wound VAC will need a licensed personnel to visit him at least three times a week to change the dressings in the wound.
- You might have to pay for the wound VAC in the event your insurance company offers limited coverage.
- Additional accessories such as the vac sponges and tape will be another few hundred dollars per month.
Factors that influence the price:
- The cost and length of treatment using a wound VAC largely depends on the depth and size of the wound. Smaller and shallower wounds normally require shorter period of treatment compared with the deeper sores.
- The biggest factor of the actual cost to the patient is the insurance coverage that patient has.
Tips to know:
- The wound VAC operates by using negative pressure to close the bed sore or wound, promoting replenishment of cells to heal the injury.
- A patient may opt to carry the pump in portable mini-pack to allow him independence while getting a continuous therapy, or he can use the larger and stationary machine.
- Studies show that wound VACs significantly helps patients to heal faster and reduces cases of infection.
- Wound VACs also keep bacteria at bay.
- A wound VAC is applicable to almost all types of wounds; however, patients with deep and chronic cases benefit most from this procedure.
- While wound VAC may be an affordable and readily available procedure in developed nations, the facility is still beyond reach among poor patients, especially in developing countries.
- Because the wound vac is still fairly new in the medical field, there are not too many conclusive studies about it. Overall, the wound vac has been shown to improve the healing of wounds on the legs of diabetics, and it has shown promise in the healing of many others.
Questions to ask:
- Are there cheaper options than purchasing or renting a wound VAC?
- Are all hospitals equipped with wound VAC facilities?
How can I save money?
- If you are taking care of someone who is using a wound vac, you may take charge in changing the bandage instead of relying on the licensed professional to perform the dressings.
- Renting a machine is usually going to save you a lot more money compared to flat out purchasing one.
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