Drug Free Depression Treatment
TMS Therapy is a new and innovative type of brain stimulation that treats depression using brief electromagnetic pulses (significantly weaker than those used in a MRI machine). These pulses pass through the skull and stimulate neurons in underactive regions of the brain responsible for depression.
FDA Approved medication free depression treatment. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a medication-free depression treatment. TMS uses a targeted pulsed magnetic field (similar to a MRI machine) which stimulates the brain. This has been studied to be an effective treatment for major depressive disorder.
Insurance does pay for these treatments if pre-authorized. Medicare does not require prior authorization and is covered if criteria is met.
We treat patients in all the greater denver area including: Aurora, Centennial, Littleton, Arvada, Englewood, Thornton, Denver, Lakewood, Westminster, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Parker.
TMS therapy (also known a rTMS therapy) is a FDA approved treatment for major depressive disorder and OCD. It is a simple, non-invasive, and drug free procedure that utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate the pre-frontal cortex which creates an anti-depressant effect which leads to relief from those who suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD) and OCD. Each TMS Treatment (also known as rTMS treatment) lasts approximately 19 minutes.
The TMS machine will produce a clicking noise and you will feel a tapping sensation on your scalp. Most find that initially the sensation is annoying and will dissipate over the next minute or two. Pain is not considered a normal side effect of the TMS therapy. There is no anesthesia, it can be performed in a doctor’s office, there is no need for any procedural medication, and there is no need for recovery after the procedure.
After the procedure is finished, you can drive and go along with your normal routine of the day. This procedure of a 19 minute TMS session will be repeated for 30 sessions over 6 weeks. Patients will typically come Monday through Friday. If a patient is unable to make a specific day, they can continue their treatment the next day and continue until they receive 30 sessions.
Many ask us how durable is the treatment of TMS therapy. Many patients report feeling the benefit from TMS therapy years after their first round of TMS treatment. The effect appears to be quite durable to those patients who respond well to treatment. Some patients will have to go back for a few TMS maintenance sessions 3-6 months after the initial sessions. The main benefit of TMS is that you will not have systemic side effects like medications which include GI problems, sexual side effects, weight gain, sedation, withdrawal syndrome.
TMS is typically covered by major insurance companies if pre-approved. Medicare does not require prior authorization and is covered if criteria is met. Dr. Tanner will need to get some information from you and submit the pre-approval form to the insurance company. Each insurance company has different criteria, but most require that 4 different medications have been tried along with a course of psychotherapy which have all failed or have been intolerable prior to pre-approval. Dr. Tanner current takes the following insurance: United Healthcare, Anthem Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Cigna, and Traditional Medicare. The process length for each insurance varies and depends on the speed on the insurance companies side for the prior authorization process.
As TMS requires daily treatment for 6 weeks, most patients being treated are within driving distance of Dr. Tanner’s office in Denver. There are some abbreviated courses such as Theta-burst (recently approved by the FDA) that can be discussed in our consultation, but may not be approved for insurance reimbursement.