Clinicians love the Balloon Extractor device for nasal foreign body removal, but sometimes we hear concern from their facilities about cost. At about $35 per unit (30% less than the market leader) we feel the Balloon Extractor is a great value.
First of all, we don’t advocate using a Balloon Extractor for every nasal foreign body case. Some nasal foreign bodies can be removed easily with improvised methods, like the mother’s kiss, and we encourage clinicians to try that first. But for foreign bodies lodged deep in the posterior of the nasal cavity where improvised methods won’t suffice, the Balloon Extractor can replace the need for costly ENT specialists and anesthesia. For that reason alone it’s great to have some Balloon Extractors on hand, which are not sterile and thus do not have an expiry date.
Balloon Extractor Reimbursement Information:
|Procedure Code||Description||Reimbursement Amount|
|30300||Removal foreign body, intranasal||$617.52|
|69200||Removal foreign body from external auditory canal||$491.70|
Second of all, private reimbursement for these types of cases is fairly generous. We consulted with reimbursement specialists who were able to share information on private reimbursement rates (pictured above – names and source blocked). Their source collects claim data and provides nationwide averages for reimbursement on specific codes. The image above shows the 2019 nationwide average for the 2 codes most commonly used with the Balloon Extractor. We feel these rates provide enough cushion to justify using an non-traumatic device like the Balloon Extractor.
Around 40,000 cases of nasal foreign body removal are reported in emergency departments in the USA each year. This volume does not lend itself to mass manufacturing where efficiencies can be gained to reduce cost. Still the cost is justifiable for this unique device which can greatly improve the care provided to some of the most delicate and challenging patients. Just remember the following:
1. The Balloon extractor is lower cost than our competitor / market leader.
2. The Balloon Extractor does not have to be your first option – they can be saved for the tough cases to save against more expensive specialists and anesthesia.
3. And lastly the cost of a Balloon Extractor fits well within the reimbursement rates from private insurance.
- Nasal Foreign Body Removal in Children, Kiger, James R., MD, et al.