Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects men of all ages, but older men tend to be affected at a higher rate. The reason for this is that erectile dysfunction is often caused by limited flow of blood to the penis, resulting in the inability to achieve or maintain a full erection. The cause of this reduced blood flow is usually a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. This buildup is due to diet, lifestyle and the consequence of time. Some blood vessels in or around the penis can become completely blocked, causing blood flow to become severely diminished to the area. This then leads to the inability to physically achieve an erection, even if the mind can still become aroused.
Erectile dysfunction treatment options have consisted mostly of prescription medications in recent decades, including vasodilators that open blood vessels to allow for more blood to reach areas like the penis. Unfortunately, these treatments do little to address the problem of plaque buildup and blockages that limit or eliminate blood flow altogether. To address these concerns, shockwave therapy has been introduced as an alternative erectile dysfunction treatment, with Gainswave being one of the more well-known brands offering shockwave treatment for erectile dysfunction.
How Does Gainswave Work?
Gainswave and similar erectile dysfunction treatments utilize ultrasonic waves that penetrate the skin and break apart plaque that has built up in blood vessels. The treatment is administered in a doctor’s office or clinic and may require several appointments in order to achieve success. The treatment is painless and non-invasive, and once blockages have been removed and blood flow has been restored, repeat therapy should not be required unless new plaque causes new blockages.
It is also believed that by stimulating tissue within the penis using ultrasonic waves, new nerve endings may be created or re-awakened after dying off, and this may provide additional sensation to the penis to aid in stimulation that results in an erection. When combined, shockwave therapy, prescription erectile dysfunction medications and psychological therapy allow most men are able to overcome the various challenges that lead to the development of erectile dysfunction altogether.
Does Medicare Cover Gainswave?
Medicare benefits provide coverage for treatment of medical conditions that negatively impact health and reduce life expectancy. They do not, however, provide coverage for conditions that improve lifestyle or appearance. As a result, because Gainswave is a lifestyle enhancement treatment, Medicare does not cover Gainswave or any other shockwave treatment for sexual enhancement. Medicare may, however, pay for an initial screening assessment to test for erectile dysfunction under Part B.
It should be noted that Gainswave and similar shockwave treatments may receive coverage by Medicare if the treatment is ordered for a reason other than to improve sexual performance. This may occur when an individual is facing a serious heart condition that may be the result of plaque buildup. In such cases, as long as the treatment is ordered to preserve life and treat a serious health condition, it may be approved. Once again, however, the reason for the treatment can not be solely or directly related to sexual enhancement.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Gainswave?
While Gainswave is not covered under Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage recipients may be able to receive additional benefits toward treatment. A Medicare Advantage plan may offer benefits that work in conjunction with Gainswave, such as smoking cessation classes or dietitian services, to improve lifestyle and the likelihood of success with Gainswave treatment. To learn more about the potential for receiving additional benefits, speak with your Medicare Advantage plan and consult with your physician.