Does insurance cover TMS treatment for depression? In many cases, yes! - Active Path Mental Health in OR and WA

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Many Americans coping with depression are asking does insurance cover TMS treatment, a promising therapy for those afflicted with hard-to-treat depression? TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, an FDA-cleared procedure that uses a highly focused, pulsed magnetic field — similar to an MRI — to stimulate the regions of the brain involved in regulating mood. The treatment is non-invasive, well tolerated, and has success rates comparable to that of antidepressant therapies. And the good news: many insurance providers cover TMS treatment for qualified patients.

Candidates for TMS treatment

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that major depression is one of the most common mental disorders, and an estimated 17.3 million Americans suffered from a major depressive episode in 2017 (most recent data available). Depression can be debilitating, and treatment typically involves prescribing antidepressants or engaging in talk therapy, or a combination of the two. While such methods prove successful in some patients, others may not experience the symptom-relieving results they desire, even after trying multiple antidepressants. Insurance companies have come to understand that these patients may need access to other treatment options, like TMS.

Approximately 45% of patients with major depression are believed to have treatment-resistant depression (TRD). These patients fail to alleviate their symptoms after at least two trials of antidepressants. They are at increased risk for suicide and for experiencing a lower quality of life and lower productivity. Plus, this group has a relapse rate around 80%. Fortunately, mental health physicians and insurance providers recognize that TMS treatment is a proven treatment option for TRD.

TMS treatment produces results

TMS treatment involves a commitment to a treatment period of about six weeks, during which patients attend brief 20-minutes sessions five days per week on an outpatient basis. Less frequent sessions are scheduled in the following three weeks to taper off treatment. TMS was cleared by the FDA following compelling results clearly demonstrating effectiveness for patients with TRD in multiple studies.

At Active Path in Portland, our clinic has replicated positive outcomes for TRD patients. Nearly 80% of our patients report an improvement in their symptoms, while one third are able to get their depression fully under control. A potentially life-changing treatment, TMS is more accessible than ever, thanks to the wide range of insurance plans with coverage and to a clear path toward determining if TMS is the right step.

Active Path accepts insurance

Our clinic works hand in hand with each patient’s healthcare team to consider whether TMS is an appropriate option and to integrate TMS treatment into their total wellness plan. Each patient responds to treatment in their own way, and therapies may require some adjustment. We keep the patient and their health care team updated throughout the treatment course. And, importantly, Active Recovery accepts insurance.

Active Path works with most commercial insurance plans as well Medicare, the VA’s TRICARE and TriWest.

We recognize the importance of making alternative mental health treatment options available and accessible to the public, and our staff works with patients to confirm coverage prior to initiating treatment to avoid surprises.

So, does insurance cover TMS treatment? Contact us at 503-389-3653 for a quick verification of insurance benefits and a free consultation to see if you might be a good candidate for this promising option to treat depression.

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