How Much Does A Ketamine Infusion Cost?
If you are considering getting a ketamine infusion, then you will want to know how much this treatment will cost you. In this post, we outline the average price of a ketamine infusion, explain why it costs what it does, and then underscore some key factors that can influence changes in price. Understanding this information is essential before deciding if ketamine treatment is the right choice for you.
The Cost Of A Ketamine Infusion
Bear in mind that there will be an initial fee for your consultation and assessment (which will cost around $350). This initial consultation is critical, as the psychiatrist carrying it out will inform you whether any medications you take — or health conditions you have — may interfere with the ketamine treatment. If you have a problem with addiction, this also needs to be discussed during the consultation. Be aware that it may make you unsuitable for treatment.
In other words, you should consider the consultation fee as a given. So, if you signed up for just a single ketamine infusion, the overall cost will then be about $750-$1,150. Of course, if you opt for ketamine treatment, you should know that treatment plans typically involve a round of infusions, not just one. Multiple infusions can help to enhance the efficacy of the treatment.
The total cost of ketamine treatment, then, will depend on how many infusions you get. These details will be sorted out during your consultation. A trained psychiatrist at the ketamine clinic can figure out how many infusions will be ideal. Note, however, that many clinics often offer patients six rounds of infusions (two per week). This treatment plan is based on clinical studies that investigate the effects of six infusions, finding this to be effective in alleviating depression.
It’s important to remember that the actual cost of ketamine treatment will be more than that of a single infusion. You can expect to pay $2750-$5,150 for ketamine treatment involving six infusions and an initial assessment.
Why A Ketamine Infusion Costs What It Does
You may think that a ketamine infusion is expensive, especially when you work out the cost of multiple infusions. However, ketamine treatment is on par with other procedures that require an intravenous (IV) drip.
The ketamine itself costs around $10. So the bulk of the price really comes down to the other factors involved in treatment, not the drug itself. The price factors in the qualified staff working at the ketamine clinic, the equipment, and the kind of facility needed to administer the drug. All of these aspects are expensive and so they translate into the $400-$800 that a single infusion costs.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of Ketamine Infusion
As we can see, the cost of a ketamine infusion can differ significantly. If you pay $400 per infusion, your overall treatment will be much more affordable than committing to $800 per infusion.
Let’s examine some of the factors that influence these differences in price. Likewise, we’ll show you how to potentially reduce the cost through a health insurance plan.
The Reputation Of The Clinic
If a particular ketamine clinic has a strong reputation for delivering a high level of care, consideration, and efficacy, then they may understandably charge a higher fee for this service. Differences in cost do not always reflect differences in quality, but sometimes they do. Be sure to take this into account when deciding whether to pay more to receive a ketamine infusion at a particular clinic.
The Reputation Of The Staff
Administering a ketamine infusion requires the expertise of psychiatrists, nurses, anesthesiologists, and psychotherapists (if the clinic offers on-site psychotherapy alongside ketamine infusions). The more skilled and reputable the staff at a clinic are, the more this provider may charge per ketamine infusion. This applies to any other medical treatment you might pay for.
If you want the best specialists for your plan, the cost of the ketamine infusion will reflect that. This also includes the initial consultation and any follow-up assessments.
The Cost Of Running The Clinic
Not all ketamine clinics cost the same to run. Factors that can influence the cost of maintaining a ketamine clinic include the following:
- Size and quality of the facility
- Quantity and quality of equipment
- Number of staff members (e.g. psychiatrists, psychotherapists, anesthesiologists, nurses, admin)
If a provider includes the above factors, then this will reasonably be reflected in the cost of treatment.
A ketamine provider has a relatively low cost based on the above factors. However, this does not necessarily mean they are sacrificing quality or safety. For example, they might simply have a smaller facility and fewer employees working there. Smaller ketamine clinics can still offer a high degree of care, attention, and safety.
Health insurance companies don’t cover ketamine treatments for the following reasons.
- Unawareness of ketamine as a treatment. Many insurance companies simply do not know that ketamine is being used to treat depression and other mental health conditions in outpatient clinics. They might only be aware of it as a recreational drug or veterinary medication. This is due to a lack of education.
- Ketamine is not an FDA-approved treatment for mental health conditions. The drug is only approved by the FDA as an anesthetic and analgesic in operating rooms and emergency departments. The FDA has not (yet) approved outpatient ketamine for depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder. The FDA approval process is very costly and there is little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to fund the research needed for approval since ketamine is an old, generic medication.
- Ketamine is considered an experimental drug. The specific use of ketamine for the treatment of depression and other disorders is relatively new, with studies on the treatment being small scale with a limited number of participants. Although the evidence so far reveals that ketamine is highly effective in the treatment of depression, there is still not enough research in the eyes of the insurance companies.
While an insurance company probably won’t cover the entire cost of ketamine infusion, part of the treatment may get coverage. Each insurance company will cover different amounts, and different patients will often see varying results — even from the same insurer.
In Some Cases, Insurance Companies Will Offer Reimbursement
Nonetheless, some patients are able to get certain aspects of ketamine treatment covered, such as the consultation fee. There are some patients who are reimbursed by their insurance for the total cost of their treatments. But this is rare.
While you may be able to collect some money from your insurance company, it can take a lot of work.
The cost of ketamine infusion can be pricey, but there are some options. Most ketamine treatment providers accept credit cards and may offer financing options. Another option is to enroll in a clinical trial. This carries its own risk, but the benefits may outweigh those risks. This is especially true if other treatments aren’t offering the relief you need.
It is possible to receive a single ketamine infusion, in which case, you can see if this will be sufficient. You may notice some relief from a single infusion, which may lead you to accepting the cost of further infusions. For many patients, a single ketamine infusion is enough to reduce depressive symptoms, allowing them to function and feel well.