BayCare Health System Site Map Social Media Contact Us
Morton Plant Mease  
Find a Doctor Classes & Events Pay My Bill Financial Assistance Policy Donate Get E-Newsletter
Services About Us Locations News Health Tools and Articles Careers Contact Us
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Bookmark and Share


Print This Page Print This Page    Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
2003 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Offers Treatment for Patients Suffering from Diabetic Wounds Medicare Approves Reimbursement for Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 24, 2003)---Morton Plant Hospital's Comprehensive Wound Healing Center is now able to offer its patients with diabetic foot ulcers Medicare reimbursable treatment with hyperbaric oxygen.

"Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a clinically effective and necessary treatment of certain patients with limb-threatening diabetic wounds," said Richard Rodriguez, D.O., MPH, medical director of Morton Plant Hospital's Comprehensive Wound Healing Center. A patient must meet certain criteria in order to receive this therapy. Medicare also requires that patients show no measurable signs of healing with standard therapy for at least 30 days prior to initiation of hyperbaric treatment.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves treating a patient in a hyperbaric chamber with 100% oxygen at greater than one atmosphere. Other Medicare approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include crush injury, bacterial necrotizing disease, osteomyelitis, soft tissue injury from radiation therapy, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness (the bends) and failing surgical flap or graft.

"The Comprehensive Wound Healing Center has been treating patients with hyperbaric oxygen for seven years," added Dr. Rodriguez. "In that time, over 2,500 patients were treated." The center currently has a healing rate of 87.83% with wound improvement in 60 days."

Diabetes is a major health concern in the United States affecting one in 16 people and half of those people may not know they have the disease. Diabetics are more at risk to develop a wound in the leg or foot than a person without the disease.

Dr. Rodriguez stated that the center provides physician-directed, state-of-the-art wound care using a variety of different treatments designed to achieve 100% healing of the wound. "While healing wounds is the primary goal of the center, educating patients and their family about wound care and prevention are important aspects of the program. Education is important for diabetic patients because of their increased risk of developing a wound due to decreased blood flow and nerve sensation."

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care.

In 2002 Morton Plant was named one of America's Top 50 Hospitals, according to AARP Modern Maturity magazine and a 100 Top Hospital in the "Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success" study for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, Morton Plant Hospital is in the "large community hospital" category of Solucient's Top 100 overall list for the fourth time.

In 2001, Morton Plant Hospital joined forces with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Morton Plant also offers a family practice residency program in conjunction with the University of South Florida. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., 727-462-7000.

Contact: Phoebe Ochman/Beth Hardy

Morton Plant News Bureau

727-461-8538 Phone

727-468-7586 Pager