Insurance and Financial Questions
Currently, stem cell procedures are not covered. It is best to check with your insurance company to see what they will cover. Most insurance plans will cover the initial consultation, MRIs, X-rays and ultrasounds, labs, braces and slings, and post-treatment physical therapy.
Currently, we are not on the following insurance plans:
- AARP Medicare Complete
- Select Health’s Select Value or Community Care
If you have one of these insurance plans, we would be happy to evaluate you for a nominal fee to see if you're a candidate for regenerative medicine treatments. Any patient can be seen on a “self-pay” basis, as most insurance plans will not cover the actual procedure.
What has been the cost of your lifestyle change? Do you live the same active and happy life you’ve always enjoyed? The answer, most likely, is no.
Not being able to play tennis, golf, run, ski, swim, travel or play with your grandkids is costing you every day. How long have you been missing out? How long have you been dealing with the frustration of not living the life you want?
That is just not the way your life should be. We want to help you move better, feel better and live better - for as long as you can.
Dr. Albano will work with you to develop a custom plan based on your overall health, goals, severity of disease and finances.
We can help you choose an option that will have a good chance of helping you achieve your goals, within your financial means. We typically look into the following options.
- Your health savings account can be used to pay for procedures.
- We accept all major cards, many of which offer introductory 0% promotions. And of course, we understand you may want the “points.”
- If you wish to pay directly, we’ve made bank transfers easy with a direct deposit invoice.
- We offer pre-payment plans, so you can start making monthly payments now to help reduce the upfront costs for your treatment.
- We are pleased to offer our patients a low-rate personal loan through Zion’s Bank. Please see our “Finance” page for more details.
No matter what you choose, we will work with you. We will never push you into a procedure.
Since no two patients are the same, no two treatment plans are the same. Costs will vary depending upon your personal goals, overall health and severity of illness.
Any of these treatments will be beneficial, but we always want you to have the best outcome.
Most choose between the “better and best.”
Read our blog post Breaking Down Stem Cell Therapy Cost, Insurance and Financing.
Yes. We know treatment can be a life-changing event and we do not want you to have any financial concerns after your treatment is completed. This is why we provide and accept a variety of payment options to best meet your needs.
Stem Cell Therapy
Absolutely! While many professional athletes have made these treatments more well-known, most of our patients are just regular people who want to feel, move and live better.
Stem cells are usually harvested from a patient’s healthy fat tissue or bone marrow. To harvest PRP, we draw your blood and then concentrate the platelets. We then precisely inject the stem cells and concentrated platelets into the damaged area, and both orthobiologics go to work to help repair the damaged tissues.
We typically use both stem cells and PRP when treating patients, however, there are times when we use just PRP. Every treatment plan varies according to the individual needs of our patients.
Stem cell therapy is a better alternative to surgery for many injuries and conditions. It is a first-line treatment for conditions such as tendinosis, tendon tears (if not too large), plantar fasciosis, meniscal tears, labral tears, osteoarthritis (if not too severe) and mild to moderate neuropathies (carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes).
As with any condition, the more severe the problem is, the more difficult it is to treat. We may treat more severe conditions. However, these conditions will likely require more aggressive treatment.
If it’s too severe, Dr. Albano may recommend surgery. With any type of injury, the sooner you come in for evaluation, the better your chance for success.
We work with two different types of cells. The first type of cell comes from your own healthy fat tissue and bone marrow. These are defined as autologous, as they come from your own body.
There are many living stem cells in these tissues (much more in fat than in bone marrow). The fat is typically obtained from women in the lateral thighs and buttocks. In men, it is typically obtained from the flank or abdomen.
The second type of cell does not come from your body. These cells are allogeneic cells and include placental, amniotic or umbilical cord tissue. These tissues contain healthy growth factors that boost your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Typically discarded, these tissues are gathered safely and ethically and no babies are harmed in the process.
Yes. All of these tools are available to you. There are pros and cons with every tissue that we use, but the advantage of using these products is that they are available in a bottle and we don’t have to harvest tissue from you.
The primary negative aspect of these tissues is cost. If we need a high volume of cells for a particular procedure, it’s usually financially impractical to use only these tissues.
The second negative with these tissues is the lack of living stem cells. We have independently tested many of these products and have never been able to grow any of them in the lab. While these allogenic materials have other living cells and growth factors that are highly beneficial, our tests indicate that the stem cells are not able to reproduce and are likely not alive. That is why we typically use these cells in conjunction with autologous cells (PRP, fat and bone marrow stem cells).
It’s important to note that the amniotic, placental, umbilical tissue and exosomes are not embryonic cells. Embryonic cells are from embryos (or babies) and the amniotic, placental and umbilical tissue is typically discarded after delivery.
Instead of discarding this allogenic material, the amniotic, placental and umbilical tissues we use are gathered safely and ethically. We only use products from companies that have the highest standards and these tissues are repeatedly tested to ensure that there are no known pathogens in the samples, including various infectious agents.
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with these tissues prior to your visit so that we can help you make an informed decision regarding your treatment options. To do this, please look through the rest of our website and research other sites, as well.
Prolotherapy is designed to create an inflammatory response, which brings blood cells and healing adjuncts to the area. Prolotherapy is not a biologic agent like stem cells or PRP, however, it triggers your body’s natural inflammatory response in a similar way.
We think of it as not being as “strong” as PRP or stem cells, but it can be effective on its own or with more advanced treatments.
Many tens of thousands of patients have had their musculoskeletal conditions treated with prolotherapy, as well as fat, bone marrow, amniotic, placental, umbilical tissue and exosomes therapies, without developing any type of cancer post-treatment.
Dr. Albano started using these products in 2007 and, similarly, has not seen any instances related to cancer. He has undergone many of these treatments himself and has performed procedures on his family members, as well.
For years, the medical establishment has put an emphasis on reducing inflammation and has employed liberal use of anti-inflammatory drugs, usually in the form of NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, or steroids. We now know that inhibiting your body’s natural inflammatory response prevents repair cells from reaching your injury.
Reliance on NSAIDs can actually cause further injury by masking pain and allowing further damage to injured tissues. Our targeted orthobiologics treatments are designed to do the opposite of overused NSAIDs. These treatments don't block inflammation - instead, they provoke a healing inflammatory response to increase the number of repair cells in the injured area.
We highly stress that you do not use NSAID’s during your recovery process.
In addition, smoking significantly hinders your body’s healing response. To achieve the best possible outcome from your procedure, it is best to discontinue smoking six months prior to your procedure.
To learn more, read our blog Not All Inflammation is Bad: The Benefits of Inflammation in The Healing Process.
The answer depends on many different variables, as no two injuries or conditions are alike. The severity of the injury, your activity level and your ultimate health goals all play a part in determining the number of treatments necessary.
Do you want to run ultramarathons? Or sit on the floor to play with your grandchildren? On average, our patients receive one to three rounds of injections. Often, one round of injections is enough to help our patients return to their regular activities.
In a normal course of treatment, we do one round of injections and wait until you reach a plateau in your improvement (normally about four months post-treatment). At that point, we determine together if you’ve reached your recovery goal. If there is still room for improvement, we may recommend another round of injections.
Stem Cell Treatments
Our treatments are done in our clinic on the same day. We harvest, prepare and re-inject stem cells and PRP during your visit. You’ll be in the office from one hour to several hours, depending on your treatment.
This answer has two parts: during the procedure and post procedure. Our goal is make you as comfortable as possible during and after your procedure.
During the procedure:
For most treatments, we use a nerve block. For patients who cannot undergo a nerve block or treatments that do not require a nerve block, we use full-strength local anesthetics near the skin, and dilute anesthetics deeper, as they can negatively affect stem cell activity. We can also use nitrous oxide (laughing gas), if needed. We have an excellent anesthesiologist for patients who request this service or if the type of procedure is more invasive and requires it.
No two people have the same pain tolerance. The donor sites are typically not very painful, but the injected site can be more painful, depending on the type of procedure. Procedures with fat can be more inflammatory (painful) than PRP procedures. In general, you can expect increased pain for one to three days as your body’s natural inflammatory response kicks in. Most patients return to their baseline pain approximately two weeks after their procedure. This natural pain response subsides with time as you go through the healing process.
We provide medications to help with the recovery. However, you must not use an NSAID (ibuprofen, naproxen and steroids) for the week prior to the procedure and for three months after your procedure. NSAIDs inhibit your body’s natural inflammatory response and prevent repair cells from reaching your injury.
Complications after any medical procedure are always a possibility. We ask every patient to sign a form that explains all of the possible complications, as we believe you need to be fully informed before undergoing any treatment.
The most common complications are pain and stiffness, which typically occur for up to 14 days and may be significant enough to interfere with work, school or daily home activities post-treatment. Some patients may get lightheaded during or just after the procedure.
Permanent increase in pain or decrease in functional ability is not expected. With the proper diagnosis, over 80% of patients who receive these treatments may expect to improve.
There are rare complications from any injection, which may include but are not limited to bone or joint infection, skin infection, bleeding, blood clots in the legs or lungs, allergic reaction to the local anesthetic and possibly even death.
The harvesting of fat or bone marrow may have additional rare complications, such as damage to the bone, nerve or muscle in the region. Even more rarely, the bowels may be damaged. In a seven-year study (1995 - 2001), only 26 adverse events were recorded among 54,890 bone marrow biopsies, for an overall annual incidence of 0.05% (Bain).
Given all these rare possibilities, the risk of complications is much less than with surgery.
This depends on the severity of your condition and the level of activity that is “normal” for you. Typically, there is an increase in pain for two weeks after the procedure, as your body’s natural inflammatory response goes to work healing your damaged tissue. Everyone heals at different rates, however, and the process could take longer or shorter than two weeks.
The healing process isn’t strictly linear, either. It is more like a roller coaster – there are good days and bad days. You should see measurable improvement after four months and an overall improvement in your quality of life by the end of the healing process.
Generally, we recommend physical therapy. At least one or two pre-habilitation physical therapy sessions will go a long way for your recovery process. After your treatment, we almost always recommend physical therapy to help you progress back to normal activity quicker than you would without.
Yes! Our philosophy is to look at your whole-body health to optimize your outcome.
First of all, it’s important to maintain an ideal body weight, especially when it comes to lower extremity procedures. Every pound of excess weight exerts about four pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So, a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his or her knees.
As you can see, losing weight is quite important to the success of your procedure. Ideally, we recommend losing weight prior to procedures. However, we can do a “smaller” procedure to help you bridge the gap until you lose the recommended weight.
This is so important that we couldn’t leave the weight loss to chance. Dr. Albano searched for a year for a good, scientifically-sound program that was easy to follow. He decided to partner with the Ideal Protein program and his patients have since been very successful. With the Ideal Protein program, men typically lose 3.5 pounds per week and women 2.5 pounds per week.
A good anti-inflammatory diet of low carbohydrates, low animal fat and normal protein helps the healing process.
It is very important to avoid NSAID medications (such as ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) one week before and after your procedure, as they inhibit the healing process.
Also, if you are over 40 years old, it is important to optimize your hormones. Even if your hormone level is not “low,” it may be suboptimal. Think of it like fertilizing the soil: plants will grow in rocky soil, but not as well as they could in better soil. The same is true for your body: the stem cell procedures will work much better with a little hormone fertilizer thrown in. Because this is so important, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for patients who need assistance.
Finally, physical therapy is a very important part of the healing process. We recommend at least one or two pre-habilitation visits, which go a long way in the recovery process. Then, after treatment, we almost always recommend physical therapy for a faster, stronger recovery.
Yes! We have many patients who travel from outside our local area. If you’re not local, we are happy to discuss your condition with you over the phone. Please contact us so we can ask you some cursory questions to determine if you’re a candidate for treatment.
If you’re a candidate, we will ask you to send us more detailed information including physician’s notes, X-ray and MRI images, and other medical reports. After receiving this information, we will schedule a phone consultation with you and Dr. Albano.
During this phone consultation, Dr. Albano will usually work with you to create a personalized treatment plan to get you started on your journey back to health. In terms of scheduling your treatment, we will work around your travel schedule, as well as your treatment needs.
Yes. The Salt Lake City International Airport is a Delta hub and is easily accessible from most major cities. Our office is an easy 20-minute drive from the airport, and with Uber, Lyft and local transportation companies, patients do not need a car unless they prefer to have one.
Most treatments are done the same day. However, we do like our patients to remain in the area for a couple days to make sure they are cleared to travel. Our office is centrally located next to several nice hotels including Hyatt Place, Residence Inn by Marriott and Hampton Inn (all across the street) and many restaurants. Our office staff can help coordinate.
Weight Management Concerns
The four phases of the Ideal Protein Protocol are designed to help you set, achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. During the weight loss phases of the protocol, we limit carbohydrate and fat intake while maintaining normal protein intake to encourage the body to turn its fat storage into energy. By eating Ideal Protein foods, the protocol helps you sustain muscle mass while teaching you how to develop smarter eating habits and lifestyle choices, which helps you maintain long-term weight loss success.
Yes, it is. A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces your body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for energy. The Ideal Protein diet is different from other keto diets that encourage a diet high in animal fats.
The Ideal Protein Protocol features one-on-one coaching and education for a healthier lifestyle. Our coaches are healthcare practitioners trained to ensure that dieters follow the protocol for maximum results. All patients will be required to complete a comprehensive health profile during their initial consultation, and every patient’s care is under the supervision of Dr. Albano.
The Ideal Protein Protocol addresses weight issues at the source, reducing carbohydrates and fats while ensuring adequate daily protein intake. In other words, the goal is to lose fat, not muscle. While on the protocol, a personal coach will teach you techniques for a healthier lifestyle and empower you to sustain your weight loss results over the course of your life.
In North America, the Ideal Protein Protocol costs about $15 per day, which includes the cost of the foods and the supplements. We encourage you to think of the cost of the protocol as part of your grocery bill. Redirecting average food expenses to different, healthier options often results in the Ideal Protein diet being neutral in cost.
During your weight loss journey, you will have the choice to eat from a variety of Ideal Protein foods that are easy to prepare and available in a variety of taste and flavor options. For example, a regular day during Phase 1 includes; three Ideal Protein foods, four cups of select vegetables and one whole protein of your choice.
A bioidentical hormone is a natural hormone that is structurally identical to the hormones in your body. This type of hormone may be derived from soy or yams and cannot be patented by a pharmaceutical company.
A synthetic hormone is one that is not identical to your natural hormones and can be patented. Because synthetic hormones are not identical to the body’s natural hormones, their effects are different than bioidentical hormones.
Bioidentical hormones are made by a special type of pharmacy, called a compounding pharmacy, and can only be prescribed by a physician (or another provider). At the Albano Clinic, we only use the highest-quality compounding pharmacies.
Compounding pharmacies specialize in creating custom medications. They can obtain a pure pharmaceutical-grade hormone and compound it into the dose and form ordered specifically for you.
Depending on the hormone, one delivery method may be preferable over another based on how well it is absorbed.
The options are topical (creams, gels, alcohol-based formulas), oral (tablets, pills, troches), under the tongue (sublingual), injection or implantable via a minor surgical procedure. The most commonly used options are topical, oral and sublingual.
With hormones, it is necessary to ensure consistency by using the medication precisely as prescribed (i.e.: at the same time every day, in the proper amount and with the correct application).
Since your labs will tell us a story of what is happening inside your body, it is imperative that you’re on your current medications and doses so we can get a good snapshot. If you run out for any reason, please call the office and we will make sure you are on a dose for your next blood draw.
You can stop the hormones when you decide you would no longer like the protective effects. The hormone levels will return to baseline (the low level prior to starting hormones) over a period of several months.
Labs are typically repeated until an appropriate level is achieved. Labs are then repeated at less frequent intervals. It is important to draw blood for follow-up labs five hours after the morning dose of daily medication and/or supplements. Multi-vitamins and B vitamins should not be taken until after your blood draw.
Yes, however, these medications may have several problems:
- The dose available over-the-counter (OTC) is often much lower than that of the prescribed variety. That is why they don’t require a prescription and are available OTC. These lower doses don’t produce a measurable difference in blood tests.
- The OTC medications may be larger in size and do not absorb as well. The pure pharmaceutical-grade ingredients from the compounding pharmacy are micronized, which means they are a fine grain and are well absorbed.
- The OTC products may be quick-release, quick-acting and/or poorly absorbed. As a result, these are dosed multiple times per day. The natural hormones from a compounding pharmacy can be prescribed as a long-acting or sustained release version, which provides a steady release over the course of 24 hours.
- The quality of the OTC medications may be substandard as the base ingredients are often obtained overseas.
- The actual amount of the OTC ingredients may vary considerably from the amount stated on the label.
- The OTC products come in standard dosages, while those from a compounding pharmacy can be customized to your specific needs.
Orgasm or O Shot
Yes. We use your blood, spin it down in a centrifuge for platelet rich plasma (PRP) and inject the PRP into the female orgasm system for maximum results.
Most patients see results within three weeks. We will follow up with you at your one-month check-up to see if your goals have been reached. We may recommend another treatment at this time if you have not reached your goals. Make sure to discuss your desires with your provider.
Most patients will experience a bit of discomfort for 24 to 48 hours. However, sexual intercourse post-procedure is completely dependent upon your comfort level. Many women have noticeable orgasms shortly after the procedure.
Using a medical-grade numbing cream, we minimize the pain you may experience. Some women do feel a dull pressure as the needle enters the vaginal area.
Priapus or P Shot
Using a medical grade numbing cream, we minimize the pain to a dull pinch.
Most patients will be able to have intercourse within a few days. The PRP revives the blood vessels and stimulates rejuvenation of the penis.
Yes. We use your blood, spin it down in a centrifuge for platelet rich plasma (PRP) and inject into the both the corpus cavernosum and head of the penis.
Most patients see results shortly after the injection. We will follow up with you at the one-month mark to see if your goals have been reached. We may recommend another treatment at this time, if you have not reached your goals. Make sure to discuss your desires with your provider.
Our master aestheticians will evaluate your skin for texture and tone, skin damage and volume loss, and will ask about your goals for long-term health. At this consultation, a custom plan is created to maximize any and all skin care treatments, as we want to make sure your skin is optimized to receive the benefits of each treatment.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is simply your blood that is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to obtain a concentration of platelets. This PRP is then applied during your Vampire® treatment.
A medical-grade chemical peel is a higher quality peel that can only be given at a medical spa. A certified medical doctor must oversee this treatment.
While both treatments employ similar technology, a Vampire® facial's progressive benefit of PRP in the skin has presented superior patient outcomes in comparison to microneedling.
Overall, Vampire® facials result in more advanced skin improvement with fewer procedures.
To reduce the effects of aging, it is imperative to replenish the skin with quality products. Our TNS and HA products not only nourish the skin immediately after any of our treatments, but also provide long-term benefits.
Your skin will see improved smoothness and hydration, and a decrease in fine lines, wrinkles and roughness. The healthier and more nourished your skin, the better you look and feel.
Yes! We understand how important it is to be in a safe and sterile environment. We adhere to the highest FDA standards, use only certified and trained master aestheticians, and all patients are under the supervision of Dr. Albano.
Stop giving restrictive injuries and debilitating pain control over your life.
With a little help from Dr. Joseph Albano and targeted orthopedic stem cell treatments, you have the power to heal, feel stronger than before and return to the life you love.
Find out if stem cells are right for you.