Alginate Dressings are used to absorb wound fluid and control moisture of wounds. These dressings, when in form of rope or ribbon, fill in dead space, conform to the wound bed and help clean the wound. Alginate Dressings may be impregnated with silver, which can fight infection. Because they are highly absorptive, Alginate Dressings are good for wounds with a moderate to large amount of fluid and should not be used for dry or wounds with eschar. Use with caution on fragile tissue, as it may cause bleeding.
- Livingston, M. and Wolvos, T. 2015. Scottsdale Wound Management Guide. 2nd ed. Malvern, PA: HMP Communications, LLC.
- Stephen Thomas 2010. Surgical Dressings and Wound Management. Thomas, S. ed. Great Britain: Medetec Publications.
Pricing and Suppliers
Is it covered by Medicare Part B?
People with Medicare Part B (beneficiaries) who need to change surgical dressings at their homes and who are not being cared for by a home health agency may have specific types of dressings covered by Medicare. Alginate and other fiber gelling dressings are one of the dressings that are covered if requirements are met. Dressings need to be considered medically necessary for treatment of a surgical or surgically treated wound. Medicare has guidelines that establish what is considered medically necessary and how often an item can be used.
Local Coverage Determination for Surgical Dressings (L33831) [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2017 Apr 30].
How can I purchase this product?
If you have coverage through Medicare Part B and your condition meets Medicare requirements for coverage, you may be eligible to have this product covered by Medicare. You will need a written order prescribed by a provider enrolled in Medicare, so that you can purchase this product at a Durable Medical Equipment store that accepts Medicare. You will need to pay deductibles and co-payment. The actual co-payment amount varies according to your state. If you do not have Medicare Part B or do not meet the requirements needed for coverage, you can find this product at pharmacies and medical supply stores. When available, please see pricing in "Other Stores" below.
The table below shows highest and lowest Medicare pricing across the country
|Description||Medicare DME co-payment Min / Max
|Alginate or other fiber gelling dressing, wound cover, sterile, pad size 16 sq. in. or less, each dressing||
$1.44 / $1.69
If your insurance does not cover this product, you can purchase it directly from any store. A list of online stores and prices is provided below for your convenience. For updated prices, find it on the internet at https://woundreference.com/app/product?id=2179
* Indicates whether store accepts Medicare or commercial insurance, but may not apply to this specific product. See coding, coverage and reimubursement for more information.
The information on this handout is for your convenience and educational purposes only. All product claims and specifications are those of the product suppliers. It does not constitute medical advice or a guarantee for reimbursement. Prices may have changed and suppliers may not have product in stock. Please confirm accuracy and appropriateness of information with insurance carrier and product supplier. Clinician and WoundReference assume no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products and insurance coverage.