What to Look for in a Ketamine Clinic
Patients considering ketamine treatment might be overwhelmed by the idea of finding a clinic. There a wide variety of providers available and every clinic will be slightly different depending on the experience and expertise of the clinician. This section aims to outline some considerations for patients when choosing a clinic in their area.
How Long Has the Clinic Been Open?
The longer the clinic has been open, the better. Because ketamine is still a relatively new treatment for pain and mood disorders, patients are encouraged to ask providers what their experience is in using ketamine for patients with mood disorders. While many provider types work with ketamine in other settings, such as operating rooms, the use of ketamine for mental health and various pain disorders is a unique and separate skill set. Patients might consider asking what the provider’s success rates are with their patients, how many patients they have treated, their philosophy regarding treatment, how they handle emergencies, and how patients are observed during and after treatment.
What Is the Setting?
Ketamine clinics should be calm places with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere to help patients center themselves before and during treatment. The clinic should offer a private room, typically with a recliner chair or bed for the patient. Patient support (friend or family) should be allowed to sit with them if they choose. Avoid clinics that have multiple patients in one room or long wait periods (hours) prior to the appointment.
How Has the Provider Been Trained?
The Physician at the clinic should be board certified in a specialty thats related to mental health or pain management. Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry are the most common medical professionals, although there are many Advanced Practice Provider types.
A Physician, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Nurse Practitioner, or Physician’s Assistant should always be on-site during infusions. Patients should feel empowered to ask if the provider belongs to any ketamine-specific organizations or has received additional training focused on ketamine treatment. Be aware if the provider has ever had board actions against them or lost their license.
What Level of Personalization and at What Cost?
Typically, single treatment for ketamine costs around $400-800 for a 40-60 minute infusion. A series of infusions can cost significantly more ($3000-$5000) to account for multiple treatments over several weeks.
Ketamine treatment should also be tailored to the needs of the patient, and so it is important to understand how the provider intends to work with the patient’s diagnoses and medications to ensure the best chances of successful treatment. Avoid clinics that use a one size fits all approach to ketamine.
What Is the Website Like?
The website should be comprehensive and recognize that ketamine is a treatment and not a cure of pain and mood disorders.
Be sure to read reviews and related media on the potential clinic. For more information on clinics in the United States, visit ASKP3’s Directory.
What Other Services Does the Clinic Offer?
Ketamine should have additional supportive material for mental health and pain management like support groups, psychiatric medication management, and access to psychotherapy. Patients should inquire how the provider monitors patient’s progress, such as through Mood Monitor software trackers between infusions. Providers should engage with the patient’s medical team, including mental health professionals, to best tailor treatment. Avoid clinics that offer services completely unrelated to ketamine or other treatments tied to mood and pain disorders, such as a clinic offering botox.