Intravenous (IV) and Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine Therapy
In 2015, after moving to San Diego, we (Drs. Jessica and Jake Hollingsworth) helped pioneer the use of IV ketamine therapy for depression. We began this work because we saw so many patients continuing to suffer from depression and/or medication side effects, for months and years. We thought then, and have continued to see since, that much of that suffering was unnecessary.
We have administered nearly 5000 IV infusions as of summer 2020, and have repeatedly seen patients’ symptoms rapidly improve after other treatment modalities failed to bring relief. We have also confirmed a lack of ongoing side effects when following our protocols.
Ketamine can be an alternative to psychiatric medications or be used to minimize or simplify medication regimens. Based on each patient’s history and current issues, our recommendations are focused on providing appropriate options for the patient’s consideration. We also recognize that psychoactive medications are not “set and forget.” Follow-up and monitoring are critical.
The patient’s experience with an intravenous medication used in psychiatry relies not only on the chemical composition of the compound but also is affected by the experience and skill of the clinician administering it. One of the reasons that we began using IV ketamine was that, as a board-certified anesthesiologist (Dr. Jessica) and psychiatrist (Dr. Jake), respectively, we knew that we could do so safely and effectively.
Dr. Jessica developed the protocols that we use to deliver ketamine treatment in the safest and most effective way. With diverse experience (she began her career as a nurse), and a caring presence, she administers infusions for depression and other psychiatric conditions if/as appropriate.
Dr. Jake ensures that only appropriate patients receive this treatment, at optimal intervals in our office.
A recent landmark study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, discusses IV ketamine infusion protocols for treatment-resistant depression.
The cited research was the first study to specifically test maintenance protocols. This study supports the protocols that Pacific Psych uses. We also monitor new research as it is published, or presented, to ensure treatment that is evidence-based and safe.
*Directly billable to insurance
Assessments last approximately 1 hour
Ketamine treatments are generally not eligible for insurance reimbursement because it has not been submitted for FDA approval to treat depression. Therefore, ketamine is considered investigational and experimental by most insurance plans. However, we are contracted with Kaiser Permanente (KP) of San Diego to provide ketamine therapy. Patients with KP should contact their physicians to inquire about referral to Pacific Psych for ketamine therapy
To ensure that treatments are a safe and appropriate treatment for you, we administer a one-hour evaluation for all new potential patients, and the fee for this service is $250. Consultation appointments are done via telemedicine. Please contact our office for details.
If we are “in network” with your healthcare provider insurance plan, the fee for the consultation evaluation can be billed directly to the insurance company. For these patients, co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles apply.
If you have insurance but we are out of network, we can provide a “superbill” that you can submit to your insurer; however, the full payment for the consultation/office visit will be required at time of service.
For patients that do not have insurance that we accept, and for patients that choose not to use their insurance for whatever reason, the full fee will be collected on each day of service.
Intravenous (IV) Infusions for depression or other psychiatric indications are $550 per treatment.
Intramuscular (IM) Injections for depression or other psychiatric indications are $400 per treatment.
Initial ketamine therapy consists of 6-12 ketamine treatments over the course of 3-10 weeks, split into one to two phases. The details of this protocol are discussed in detail during the initial evaluation. Ketamine treatment appointments generally take an hour and a half. If the symptoms are successfully controlled with these initial treatments, then follow-up evaluations will be conducted to determine long-term treatment plans.
Maintenance treatments usually consist of one infusion every 2-6 weeks.
For patients that have not had a ketamine treatment or a psychiatric evaluation at our clinic for over four months, a 30-minute psychiatric follow-up evaluation is required prior to the next treatment. For patients that have not had a treatment or a psychiatric evaluation at our clinic for over a year, an hour-long psychiatric evaluation is required prior to the next treatment. Follow-up psychiatric evaluations are not required if there are less than four months between treatments. These required psychiatric evaluations are done at no charge.
For questions, please contact our office. We would be happy to explain pricing, infusion scheduling, and other details.