The high cost of compromised airway clearance

Whether your organization provides health insurance for employee groups, retirees, military personnel, or low-income or disabled populations, consider impaired airway clearance a red flag. A threat to the health of your customers. A tremendous potential cost to the health care system.

When a disease or condition interferes with a person’s ability to adequately cough up mucus from the lungs, that individual faces significant health risk. Retained bronchial secretions not only make breathing difficult, they threaten precipitous decline in a patient’s overall health. That decline can include recurring respiratory infections, permanent lung damage, diminished pulmonary function and increased morbidity — all of which translate to mounting health care utilization and cost.

HFCWO: A difference-making therapy

A typical treatment regimen — prescription drugs, chest physiotherapy, cough-assist accessories, special coughing positions and techniques — often is insufficient to help patients consistently and adequately clear their airways. In those cases, to prevent recurring infections and other health risks, a more powerfully effective therapeutic alternative is called for.

High frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO), also known as high frequency chest compression (HFCC), administers rapid chest compressions that loosen and thin retained mucus, then mobilize it toward major airways, where it can be more readily coughed or suctioned away. Numerous clinical studies document HFCWO’s efficacy and benefits — including reductions in clinic visits, hospital readmissions, length of hospital stays and long-term antibiotic prescriptions.

A clear difference in HFCWO devices

Therapy adherence determines the effectiveness of any treatment. Electromed, Inc., designed its SmartVest® Airway Clearance System with unique features that promote consistent therapy adherence by maximizing ergonomic comfort and lifestyle convenience. Pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, patients and caregivers attest to HFCWO’s ease and effectiveness based on their experiences with the SmartVest System.

Expanding coverage of HFCWO

The majority of patients self-administer HFCWO in their homes, making it not only effective, but a highly cost-effective treatment. In the United States, Medicare, the Veterans Health Administration, Medicaid programs administered by the states, nearly 200 other government payers, plus several hundred private health insurers now provide reimbursement for HFCWO.

Electromed has a team of reimbursement specialists to coordinate and streamline communication and documentation among payers, clinicians and patients. Contact Electromed for answers to questions about HFCWO and the SmartVest System.