Since WCA was founded 20 years ago, our industry has made great strides and advancements in both technology and method. Unfortunately these changes aren’t always well-known, allowing for less effective and sometimes even harmful practices to continue.
In this blog we’ll cover 5 common myths we still see in wound care treatment and how you can avoid them.
- Myth #1: Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or betadine are necessary to clean & disinfect wounds.
Products like these can be cytotoxic to the wounds. Although they are good at killing bacteria in the wound, they will also kill any new cells and granulation tissue that are growing within the wound bed which can slow down the healing process.
- Myth #2: Wet-to-dry dressings are the most effective wound care treatment.
This myth comes from an old way of treating wounds and unfortunately, it is still taught in medical school as the standard for wound care. Changing wet-to-dry dressings can be very painful for patients and, in order to be effective, require changing multiple times throughout the day.
Additionally, with each dressing change the temperature decreases within the wound bed which can hinder wound healing. It can take up to four hours to bring that wound bed back to an optimal temperature.
- Myth #3: Repeated bone/muscle debridements are needed without a biopsy of bone.
Bone debridements are deemed necessary if necrotic bone is present within the wound, however, ongoing evidence of continued debridement of the bone without a biopsy have been deemed to not meet medical necessity.
Taking a biopsy will provide the physician with the necessary results to update the patient’s plan of care and to have sufficient evidence to begin advanced treatment modalities, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- Myth #4: Documentation doesn’t need to meet medical necessity because we’ve already been paid for the procedure.
This myth is a common response we hear from physicians when we educate them on the importance of being proactive in their documentation. They are correct in that they are likely to be paid for the procedures they bill out. However, if they’re audited or their charts fall under review, they may be up for repayment if the procedure is not deemed medically necessary. Not only will they have to pay back what they received but there is a penalty as well.
- Myth #5: Complicating wound factors do not require an ongoing assessment or added to the treatment plan if they were addressed within the initial visit.
Complicating wound factors should be addressed on the initial visit and be part of a continuous assessment, especially if there are no measurable signs of wound improvement. Ongoing assessments of control of complicating factors that affect wound healing in addition to debridement will require additional and ongoing assessments as a part of the comprehensive wound management plan.
This is required to meet medical necessity and should be addressed throughout the patient’s duration of care. Outliers such as; unrelieved pressure, nutritional status, diabetes management, infection status, and vascular status, must be an ongoing part of the overall treatment plan in order to obtain the goal of full wound closure.
Through The WCA Network, centers gain access to a dedicated team that stays up to date on the ongoing changes in the industry, from new technologies to revised treatment guidelines. We’re in constant contact with our centers, letting them know about changes to coding guidelines, product use, and new technologies.
We help take the guesswork out of wound care to ensure that physicians are able to focus on the most important aspect of their program, the patient.