Many Ketamine Clinics Do Not Adequately Screen Patients
Research shows that as ketamine clinics spring up across the country, the competition for patients grows more fierce.
Patients are reporting more and more that they are ushered into clinics in a very casual manner, without thorough screening.
“All patients should be medically screened and evaluated psychiatrically prior to receiving ketamine treatment,” said Dr. Charles Chaney, Medical Director of Pain Medicine at College Hospital Costa Mesa. One of the biggest risk in competition for patients is “irresponsible and potentially unsafe administration of intravenous ketamine.”
A growing number of ketamine clinics do not adequately screen patients, and experts indicate that these clinics offer IV ketamine to anyone who can afford it. A single treatment of IV ketamine can run anywhere from $350 to over $1000 for depression.
Some clinics offer access to a psychiatrist who can properly evaluate the patient from a mental health standpoint prior to an infusion, which should be standard of care. Many clinics do not collaborate with a patient’s mental health provider or even require patients to have a psychiatrist throughout treatment.
Clinics sometimes overstate the benefits of ketamine, and even promote special blends that experts say are not supported by published evidence.
“Ketamine has become a revolution in depression therapy,” said Chaney. “It presents an oasis of hope.” The interest and optimism is growing daily, but the safety of patients is a concern especially as clinics race for patients.
The ketamine community must do its part to ensure safe and effective screening of all patients.