Fees & Insurance
What is the cost?
The initial 60 minute evaluation and screening exam is $200 plus tax. Ketamine infusions and follow-up treatments are $500 plus tax. Sliding scale is available for qualifying patients. The best evidence to extend the duration of ketamine’s benefit suggests continuing with a course of six infusions over two weeks, the National Institute of Mental Health protocol. Most patients then only require a single booster treatment every 1-3 months. Booster sessions as needed for chronic pain are usually a single day. For those patients who do find profound relief of their suffering with ketamine, they find the treatment to be very cost effective. We are also working to establish a grant program to help patients who cannot afford this treatment. Payment is due upon date of services. To respect the needs of our patients awaiting services, cancellations must be made more than 24 Hours in advance, without prior permission from clinic staff.
Will my insurance cover treatment?
Unfortunately no. Ketamine was first used as an anesthetic, and has been approved by the FDA to be marketed as such. Ketamine’s use outside of that of an anesthetic is considered “off label,” and allowed when deemed medically appropriate by a physician. It is estimated that almost ¼ of all prescription medications sold in the United States, are prescribed “off label” like this. Hopefully soon, as the insurance industry appreciates the significant cost savings of ketamine treatment as compared to daily medications, frequent visits for psychotherapy or chronic pain and potential hospitalization, they will begin to reimburse this cost. You may use a health savings account (HSA) to pay for the treatment.
What are the risks?
Ketamine is one of the most widely used medications in the world and has a very good safety profile. It is used daily on adults and children for sedation at doses up to 10 times the dose that we use for mood disorders and chronic pain. During the infusion, ketamine can cause a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Ketamine causes most people to experience a pleasant euphoria, as well as positive changes in mood, cognition (thought processes) and perception. At higher doses, it can cause a feeling of an “out of body” experience. Although this can make some people anxious, most tolerate it well with adequate preparation and in the context of a safe and supportive setting. A small percentage of people have some nausea, which can be treated. The effects of ketamine wear off within 15 minutes of stopping the infusion.
Is Ketamine addictive?
Ketamine does not involve the reward systems typically present with other more addictive drugs in the brain and is generally not considered physically addictive. Some people do find the physical and psychological effects on mood, cognition and perception very pleasant and it has been known to be abused recreationally. However, at the low doses used in ketamine treatment, only given intermittently and under direct medical supervision, addiction is not a significant risk, and has not been observed in clinical studies.