Mental Health

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for Mental Health.

If your weekly therapy isn’t enough to help with your mental health, you should know there are other choices. 

Staying in a hospital overnight for mental health treatment can cost a lot—between $3,500 to $8,500, no kidding! And to add, hospitalization is the MOST RESTRICTIVE type of mental health care. 

So, some health places offer a different option called a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). It’s a good choice if you need stronger treatment but don’t want to stay in the hospital.

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The Key Takeaways.

  • It’s like a one-stop shop for different mental health services. You go there for 4 to 8 hours a day.
  • It’s cheaper than staying in the hospital.
  • Your health insurance might cover it.
  • The cost can change based on your insurance plan.

What Is PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program)?

PHP is a day program for mental health treatment. You go there for a few hours each day, maybe 3 to 5 days a week. You get to go home every night. It’s less intense than full-time hospital care. But it’s more intense than just weekly visits to a therapist.

Hospitalized patients and doctors near hospital flat vector illustration.

It’s made for serious mental health problems. You’ll see different experts like therapists and doctors. You might go to a special PHP for your specific problem, like trauma or eating disorders. If your doctor suggests PHP, it means your mental health needs more attention than what you’re getting now. 

If PHP is right for you, your doctor believes:

  • You need more help for your mental health.
  • PHP will be good for you.
  • It’ll help you get back to feeling normal or stop you from getting worse.

Do I Need A PHP? What’s The Criteria?

To start, you’ll get checked by a mental health expert to see if PHP is right for you.

PHP is for people who:

  • Struggle with daily tasks at work or school.
  • Are safe and not hurting themselves or others.
  • Are physically healthy.
  • Have support at home.
  • Want to get better and will join in the treatment.
  • Might also be dealing with substance abuse.

PHP Can Help with Conditions Like?

  • Anxiety.
  • OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder).
  • Mood swings (Bipolar disorder).
  • Deep sadness (Major depression).
  • Problems with eating (Eating disorders).
  • Trauma after a scary event (PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • Drug or alcohol issues (Substance use disorders).
  • Thinking about or trying to hurt oneself (Suicidal thoughts or attempts).

What’s a Day In PHP Like?

You’ll have a plan with different activities to help you, like:

  • Talking one-on-one with a counselor.
  • Group sessions.
  • Learning new skills.
  • Managing your meds.
  • Classes about health.
  • Nursing care.
  • Planning your care with your team.
  • Planning for after the program to stay well.
  • Family meetings.
  • Creative stuff like music or art.

Your team will make a daily schedule for you that fits your goals so don’t worry!

What are the Benefits of a PHP?

  • All-in-one care: You get therapy, meds, and other services together.
  • Flexibility: You don’t stay overnight, so you can still work or go to school.
  • Saves money: It’s usually cheaper than full-time hospital care. Back in 2016, a hospital stay cost about $1,100 a day, but PHP might cost $350 to $450 a day without insurance. 

How is PHP Different from Rehab?

Rehab: You live at the place where you’re getting help. It’s mainly for drug or alcohol problems.

PHP: You don’t stay overnight. It’s for all kinds of mental health issues, not just addiction.

How is PHP Different from Regular Therapy?

Regular therapy: You see a therapist for about an hour, maybe once a week.

PHP: You get several hours of help every day. It’s more intense and all in one place.

What About Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

IOP is like PHP but a bit less time each day-around 3 to 4 hours. You might go back to regular therapy visits after a PHP, IOP, or inpatient care.

How Much Does PHP Cost?

It can be anywhere from $300 to $1,300 each day. But, the price changes based on:

  • How long you’re in the program.
  • Where it’s located.
  • What kind of help you get.
  • How many people are helping you.
  • Your insurance details.

Will Insurance Cover PHP?

The law says insurance should help pay for mental health care. But it depends on your insurance plan. If the program’s not in your insurance network, you might not get money back. You might have to pay more out of pocket, like deductibles or co-pays. Usually, you need a letter of “medical necessity” from a doctor to get insurance to agree to pay.

What doesn’t insurance cover?

  • Job training.
  • Food.
  • Hangout groups.
  • Rides to the program.

PHP vs. IOP: What’s the Difference?

Intensity and Time is the only difference.

PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) is more intense and needs more of your time.

IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is less intense and lets you keep up with your daily life.

Goals and Objectives of PHP and IOP. 

  • Stabilize: Both help calm down mental health or addiction issues.
  • Learn to Cope: They teach you ways to handle stress and emotions.
  • Function Better: Aim to improve how you do everyday things.
  • Support: Offer a place to meet others dealing with similar stuff.

What You’ll Do in PHP vs. IOP. 

  • Talk One-on-One: You get personal time with a therapist.
  • Group Sessions: Share and learn in a group setting.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Learn skills to manage your thoughts and feelings.
  • Family Sessions: Work on family issues that affect your mental health.

Both PHP and IOP are there to give you the support and structure you need to get better at handling mental health or addiction challenges. 

PHP vs. IOP: Which is Right for You or Your Teen?

Choosing between Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) isn’t easy because both can work well for serious mental health issues. The best choice depends on what you need, the program’s quality, and how it’s run.

Research shows both IOP and PHP can:

  • Cut down on substance use.
  • Improve mental health.

But, each person is different. 

PHP might be better if you need a lot of support and structure.

IOP could be enough if you want to keep some independence and do your usual activities.

For teens, think about:

IOP: Good if they need less structure and have support at home. They can still go to school and do other activities.

PHP: Helps teens who need more help than what IOP offers. It’s more structured and supportive.

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