Dispensing surgical dressings in your office can improve outcomes, patient satisfaction, and can result in tremendous profits. The main surgical dressings that can be dispensed include:
With many options, it can be difficult to select the best option. In last month’s blog, we looked closely at AMERX® Calcium Alginate Dressing. This month, we are going to investigate AMERIGEL® Hydrogel Wound Dressing.
An important tenant of wound care is moisture balance. The goal is always to maintain a moist healing environment without allowing the wound bed to become too moist, or too dry. When a wound is heavily draining, there is often too much moisture. Excess moisture can be addressed with foam or calcium alginate. We may also encounter the opposite situation where the wound bed is too dry. In this situation, hydrogel introduces moisture to help maintain a moist wound healing environment. Once applied to the wound site, hydrogel will liquefy. Liquification allows hydrogel to migrate across the wound surface and occurs when it is brought to body temperature. Compared to other options, hydrogel sustains moisture longer than standard glycerin and saline-based hydrogel.
Combining with Other Dressings
Hydrogel is a primary dressing and, therefore, requires a secondary dressing for securement. As suppliers, we can dispense both the primary dressing and the secondary dressing. Dispensing both dressing options provides the patient with everything they need and can increase profits in the surgical dressing program. As we addressed in a previous blog post, when combining a primary and secondary dressing, their indications should be the same. Therefore, an option to consider as a secondary dressing over hydrogel is AMERX Bordered Gauze Dressing.
Beyond establishing medical necessity, the documentation requirements must also depict that the wound being treated has “zero to light” drainage and is a Stage III or Stage IV wound for hydrogel to be covered by the DMEMACs. Hydrogel is not covered if the note does not indicate the staging of the wound and if the documentation indicates a Stage I or II wound is being treated. Even after payment is made, recoupments can occur if inadequate or inconsistent documentation is discovered later.
Hydrogel provides moisture to wounds with “zero to light” drainage. DMEMAC coverage allows up to 3 ounces per month per ulcer when medically necessary. Hydrogel is appropriate for Stage III and Stage IV wounds.