Does Medicare Cover TMS Therapy?

TMS treatment stimulates the brain to help with depression and other health disorders. But does Medicare cover TMS therapy? Read on to find out.

Table of Contents

What Is TMS Treatment?

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a type of noninvasive brain stimulation. This means that it causes certain parts of your brain to react or interact without any invasive surgeries or techniques. When undergoing TMS, an electric current is safely introduced to certain regions of the brain to help incite change.

TMS Treatment

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How Successful is TMS?

Several studies have been conducted revolving around the effectiveness of TMS. One study found that for individuals with depression who had no results with traditional treatment and medication, that 50-60% of them received results with TMS.1

Another study corroborates these findings, showing the success rate of TMS to be around 56%.2

How Long is TMS Treatment?

Like with many other types of treatments for mental health disorders, how long TMS takes depends on the individual and their unique needs. On average, however, a treatment session usually takes around half an hour. These sessions will occur around five times a week for anywhere from four to six weeks.

While this is the average duration of a complete treatment, some individuals may notice results within their first few sessions.

Different Types of TMS Treatment

There are several different forms of transcranial magnetic stimulation that doctors utilize. These may affect different parts of the brain in varying ways, as they’re used to help target different concerns. The two main types of TMS are repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS, is one of the more common forms of this treatment. Here, a magnetic coil is placed against the head where it can deliver repetitive, painless shocks that stimulate the nerve cells in the brain. This can be beneficial for depression.

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS)

With deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, the effects are able to reach as far as six centimeters into the brain. This allows for the currents to stimulate parts of the brain that rTMS may not otherwise be able to reach. As a result, it can be more effective for certain mental health disorders, such as more serious depressive disorders. These more serious forms of depression are harder to treat with traditional treatment methods.3

TMS Treatment Side Effects

Although TMS is known as a non-invasive treatment plan that delivers painless shocks, it’s not without its side effects, much like other types of treatments. Below are some of the side effects that may be encountered.

Common Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of TMS therapy have to do with the nature of the procedure itself. TMS requires a magnetic coil to be placed against the scalp. As a result, common side effects include scalp tenderness, pain, or headaches. It can also result in lightheadedness or muscle twitches in the face.

Uncommon Side Effects

Serious side effects are uncommon with this form of treatment but may still occur. Some of the uncommon side effects to be aware of before trying this form of therapy are:

  • Seizures
  • Elevated symptoms of bipolar disorder
  • Hearing loss

Many of the uncommon side effects of TMS can be avoided or have their likelihood reduced by talking to your doctor before your session. This can help ensure that proper precautions are being taken, such as removing any metal or hearing aids prior to the session.

How Long Do the Effects of TMS Treatment Last?

As with all types of mental disorders treatments and therapies, results may vary depending on the individual. As a result, it can be difficult to determine the exact length of time that TMS treatment may be beneficial. However, on average, patients may see results for up to a year after the end of their sessions.4

TMS Treatment Benefits

Although TMS is most commonly used to combat depressive symptoms, it actually comes with many other benefits. Some of the most notable benefits come from the layout of the procedure itself, which is noninvasive and typically painless. However, other benefits come from the fact that this form of treatment can be beneficial for many different types of mental health disorders.

Conditions TMS Therapy Could Benefit

Some of the conditions that may benefit from TMS include:

TMS treatment

Does Medicare Cover TMS Therapy?

If TMS therapy seems like it may be a beneficial option for you or your loved one, you may be wondering more about the cost. This includes whether or not your insurance will cover sessions.

For Medicare in particular, many people are seeing their insurance begin to cover their sessions as TMS becomes a more routine treatment for drug-resistant mental health disorders. To learn exactly whether or not your sessions will be covered, make sure to reach out directly to your provider.

How Much Does TMS Treatment Cost?

The cost of TMS treatment depends on the healthcare provider. However, on average, a single session may cost between $60 and $100.

Is TMS Treatment Covered By Insurance?

Each insurance is different. As a result, one type of insurance may cover TMS treatment while others do not. However, as TMS becomes more popular and more accepted, it is more common to see it being covered as other health treatments are. To learn whether or not your insurance covers TMS, reach out to your provider.

Get Help at Profound

Navigating mental health and chronic pain can be challenging, but you don’t have to undergo this journey alone. At Profound, we will be with you every step of the way during your mental health and substance abuse recovery journey. Our TMS program is designed to meet a variety of individual needs, helping to guide you along your healthcare journey. Our staff can answer any question you may have about TMS and how it may benefit you.

To learn more about what Profound has to offer for TMS therapy, reach out to us today.

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