Do I need anything from my doctor?
Yes, but we will take care of that process. Our equipment is FDA approved 510(k) and as part of our approval process one of the requirements is that we must have a doctor or podiatrist’s prescription for your use. When we talk with you we will get your doctor or podiatrist’s name and phone number and then we will contact them and give them an information packet and a Prescription Request Form that simply requires their signature. They will sign that and fax it to our office, just like they do every day when they fax in prescription medicine to a pharmacy. If you don’t have an existing doctor or podiatrist because you haven’t seen them in a long period of time, we will help you locate a podiatrist in your area. Once you have had an initial appointment with them they can write the prescription for you to use the VST in your home. This process has never been a problem as doctor’s and podiatrists know that the medical world does not have a treatment protocol today that truly can reverse the course of your disease…well that is until they discover the VST and what it has the opportunity to do for you.
Does Medicare pay for this?
Prior to December of 2013, Medicare paid for an essentially unlimited number of sessions of a treatment known as Combination Electro-Analgesic Therapy, or CET. This treatment combined Electrical Signal Therapy (VCARE device) with injections of a pain killer, typically Marcaine. The Marcaine was believed to enhance the effectiveness of the Electrical signal therapy by providing pain relief and helping to dilate the blood vessels in the region affected by Neuropathy. Unlike the current host of drugs which merely mask the symptoms and dull the pain, this treatment was proven effective at actually reversing the damage and reducing or eliminating the pain in the majority of patients. The treatment was performed by approximately 15 clinics, scattered across the United States. Its success rate was very high and often times worked when every other option had failed.
In December of 2013 Medicare announced that they would be phasing out coverage for CET treatment. In January of 2014, they cut coverage from an unlimited number of treatment sessions, down to 6! Then in August, they eliminated coverage completely. Medicare did not cut coverage because the treatment was ineffective. They cut coverage because they decided to focus treatment in another direction: Prescription Medications.
The medical community had an effective treatment with virtually no side effects and Medicare arbitrarily pulled the plug on the coverage. By taking this stance, Medicare forced the closure of all clinics specializing in the treatment of Neuropathy. Without proper reimbursement from Medicare, and with increasingly complex rules and regulations from other agencies as well, such clinics were cost-prohibitive to run. Sadly, there is no practical appeal process for Medicare; they simply get to do what they want.
Those of you over age 65 paid into Medicare all your working lives and you no doubt had an expectation that it would cover ANY treatment now that you are in a time of need. Unfortunately, Medicare has not remotely lived up to the expectations of those who have paid into that system for decades. Even though Medicare no longer pays for this treatment, there is still very good news: there exists an effective treatment for Neuropathy.
V-Care Health Systems, INC, (who supplied the VST machines to these specialized Neuropathy clinics) was able to put together a home-based treatment protocol at a much lower cost than could ever be offered in a clinical setting. However, this does mean that you, the patient, have to be willing to invest some of your hard earned dollars into the potential of reversing the pain and deteriorating health you will suffer if you choose to do nothing. Medical costs are not going down, they are going up. Don’t let Medicare’s lack of “caring” for you stop you from victory over this disease, and making your life more pleasant and enjoyable.
One of the “big” things to remember as your consider taking advantage of using the VST to treat your Peripheral Neuropathy…You Didn’t Get Your Disease Overnight and You Won’t Reverse the Course of Your Disease Overnight. You have probably heard the old statement: “Patience is a Virtue” and in the treatment of PN that statement rings loud and clear. The great thing is that over the years, and thousands of Patient Treatment Applications, 70 % to 80% of the patients witness a change in direction with their disease in a relatively “short” period of time of 60 to 90 days. In fact, most patients do not need to treat more than 60 days.
Now for a typical case. Let’s just look at what Dr. Thomas R. Hull had to say after originally being an “admitted Skeptic”: “Treatment of neurogenic pain has been a part of my practice for the past 35 years. I have been using the V-Care VST units in the treatment of approximately 250 neuropahty patients for the past year (2013-2014). It is without a doubt the best treatment modality I have ever seen for Neuropathic Pain associated with diabetes and other medical problems leading to peripheral neuropathy. We have maintained detailed records of patient response to treatment in all of these cases, and have found that approximately 70% of patients experienced significant clinical improvement in their sypmtoms, especially in regards to burning pain, shooting pain, tingling, numbness and balance.” Most reported improved walking ability, better balance, improved sleep and other improvements in quality of life”
In light of that if you are a person who experiences “pain” you most likely will see pain reduction in a few sessions and can see total pain gone within three to four weeks, with many patients seeing their primary care doctor or their neurologist to get off their pain meds. Items like tingling, cold feeling and pins and needles effect also seem to be the first to improve and/or disappear altogether. The most difficult is the numbness and it took a long time with the disease to produce the level of numbness a patient may experience and it takes time to reverse the damage to the nerves, etc. though it does a great job. Our CEO, Sandy Wheeler is a PN patient himself due to his diabetes he got from exposure to Agent Orange from his service in Vietnam in 1968, 1969 and 1970. His only remaining numbness now is in his toes and he now scores in the top 1% for his age group in balance. Is there hope…you bet. Be Patient, Be Diligent in Treating as Prescribed and Be Expecting Good Results from Your Dedication to Treat. When you think of it, what is treating for 60 to 90 to even 180 days to gain back your life….not much is it. Just keep this in mind…V-Care and its team are here for you everyday.
How difficult is it to treat myself?
The VST machine arrives to your home via Federal Express and is completely pre-set to treat your condition. There are instructions with the machine that will walk you through the treatment process. It is as easy as 1, 2 and 3. If you should have any problems just give one of our team members a call.
I don’t have much money. How can I get treated?
The goal of V-Care is to treat everyone regardless of their financial condition. One of our team members will discuss, in private, your financial condition. One of the great things about having a total cash pay medical service is that the Government no longer can set “unreal” rules that restrict people from being treated based on their financial condition. If you have a desire to get well, we can probably develop a plan of treatment and a payment process that will work within your budget…just give us a call to discuss.
Is the VST like a TENS machine?
Please see our our Easy Overview for a complete explanation, but the short answer is “NOT EVEN”. Most TENS units have a Monophasic electrical wave, and they are only designed to help control pain. They have virtually no rehabilitative quality at all. Even with the assigned job of pain management, TENS eventually fail. The body adjusts to the stimulus and overcomes the TENS waveform, forcing the patient to increase the TENS electrical output to block pain. Eventually the output of the TENS cannot be safely increased further as the body inevitably overcomes the pain blocking effect. The VST produces a biphasic wave that the body really likes. It restores the body’s natural ability to provide restorative healing to the stressed area. The VST accelerates healing and rehabilitates the body by causing significant increase in blood flow after 40 minutes of use. When it comes to TENS vs. VST, there really is no comparison in function, performance and cost to you.
What does it cost?
The costs, or investment required is not much. For a Medicare patient that was previously treated in one of the specialty clinics, the Co-insurance amount would range from $1,500 to $2,200, plus all the money people had to spend in gas getting to and from the clinics and that can range all over the place. When you treat in your home you will have the Lease of the VST for 2 months, the cost of the electrode pads and a small shipping and handling fee. We will go over these with you on the phone. Everyone’s situation varies. Our goal is to treat you regardless of your financial situations, but it will be less costly than treatment at a clinic.
What is necessary to get started?
Please refer to Get Started and you can see the steps…again they are really easy.
What is the normal treatment period?
For most patients we have found that you will need to treat yourself for approximately 60 days. Every once in a while a person needs an additional 30 days, but that is rare. We recommend treating at least every other day, but you may want to treat yourself everyday to get maximum benefit from the treatment process. If you are a person who has a lot of pain associated with your disease then we will discuss with you a treatment plan to deal with the pain.