TMS Informed

You are likely beginning to hear the whispers of TMS which stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. You are probably also noticing that the whispers are getting louder, and from what we know about the use of TMS in Europe and in Asia, that is not likely to change in our lifetime.

TMS is quite literally a revolutionary treatment for brain disorders and at the forefront are depression, anxiety and PTSD.

As a Master’s level addictions counselor, I was first introduced to TMS by a colleague that had one in her office. I thought it was oddly curious and was even curious to try it myself. As time went on and I learned more about the efficacy of TMS and the long term symptomatic relief of depression and anxiety, my curiosity turned to motivation for change.

I had some insider knowledge about the addicted population and the very real challenges and trends of multiple failed attempts at long term sobriety. I knew that medication non-compliance upon discharge of inpatient treatment was a huge factor in substance abuse relapse. The revolving door of addiction treatment for so many lies in the relapse of psychiatric symptoms, which triggers the literal need to “use” to relieve these symptoms and results in relapse of chemical dependency abuse. I also knew that if this population had the opportunity to be symptom free of their psychiatric pain for a year or more without having to be compliant on medication, they would have a real chance at long term sobriety success.

This makes a very strong case for TMS treatment in the Chemical Dependency treatment space.  There are also some very nice TMS treatment ancillary benefits to the patient, like better sleep, reduced anxiety, increased ability to focus and connect emotionally with consequences. All of these are essential elements that support long-term sustainable recovery. Furthermore, the reimbursement rates for TMS treatment can add a significant, brand new profit center to your bottom line.

This is really great news for the Chemical Dependency Centers that are striving for real recovery success for their clients. However, before you run out and buy a TMS system for your center, there are a few things you should know.

The ideal time in the continuum of care to offer TMS treatment is IOP. This reduces the risk of alcohol and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal seizure that may appear, but are highly unlikely to be TMS induced seizures. Insurance companies also want to see the patient demonstrate actionable desire for recovery, like moving to the next level of care.

Err on the side of caution when choosing your physician to prescribe and oversee your TMS treatment services. Most insurance companies require a licensed or board eligible adult psychiatrist to prescribe and supervise TMS treatments. Cutting corners on this element will result in lost monies and unnecessary risks, compromising the integrity of TMS treatment.

Finally, TMS systems are a sizeable investment ranging from $45,000 to $200,000 and more if you choose a pay per use system. Know the systems on the market today. Make sure the system itself is FDA cleared, and know what the costs associated with the system are before you make your TMS treatment device choice.

TMS treatment is an FDA cleared, evidenced and scientifically based, non-invasive treatment for depression that works! Now is a good time to consider TMS as a treatment option for your patients, and if you do your homework, make informed decisions, you and your clients will enjoy the multitude of benefits from this revolutionary technology.

Suzanne Jessee M.A, President/CEO; Anew Era TMS; Huntington Beach, California

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