by John Minahan, CEO of Mindful Health Solutions
At Mindful Health Solutions, we receive thousands of phone calls a month from patients needing help. Some patients who call are suffering from some form of mental illness and had the courage to ask for help for the first time. Others are suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and are looking for alternatives. No matter the history of diagnosis of our patients, we are here to help. We offer an in-network path to recovery that many psychiatric practices do not, and that path is called interventional psychiatry. Through interventional psychiatry, we aim to offer as many services as possible through our internal network to improve the outcomes of our patients.
What is interventional psychiatry?
Interventional psychiatry consists of treatments for those with mental health conditions that have shown resistance to standard forms of medication. In order to qualify for interventions, patients must show little to no improvement or show that they have gotten even worse, with standard measures. The forms of interventions we offer are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and esketamine intranasal therapy. Soon, we will have the capability to offer one more intervention: ketamine infusion therapy (also known as IV ketamine).
Why offer different kinds of intervention?
Generally, when a patient is diagnosed with TRD, they have failed to respond to at least two medications. The next step in their care path is to prescribe TMS. The full course of TMS treatment is typically five days a week for four to six weeks, with sessions that last 15-20 minutes each. A majority of our patients respond well to TMS treatments. After treatment, their doctor continues to monitor their remission.
For the patients who do not respond well to TMS, their next step is to be prescribed esketamine. A typical course of esketamine treatment consists of twelve sessions over two months and involves concurrent therapy sessions. If a patient has a positive response to esketamine, their provider will monitor their remission and may request maintenance treatments as needed.
Why add ketamine infusion therapy?
While medications, TMS, and esketamine can prove effective for a majority of patients, there are still some that do not find relief from those interventions. When that happens, their psychiatrist may feel the patient is a good candidate for ketamine treatments. Historically, we would refer the patient out for this treatment if appropriate because we have not offered it.
However, starting in December, we will open our first office that will offer TMS, esketamine, and now ketamine infusion therapy. Throughout 2023, we will continue to add this treatment line to both existing and new locations in California, Texas, Washington, and Georgia as appropriate.
Not all insurance payors provide coverage for ketamine therapy. However, we have relationships with many payors and practice evidence-based medicine, and some of the insurance payors do or will cover ketamine infusion therapy as a treatment for depression. We hope in time that other insurance companies will join the fight against TRD and allow their patients this treatment as a standard benefit.
Mental health care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Offering different interventions is important to make sure all patients can find a path to recovery. At Mindful Health Solutions, we are proudly creating in-network access to as many services as possible to improve the outcomes of our patients.