Hello again. This is Susan from myketaminestory.com. I am a blogger that suffers with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD), Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was introduced to Ketamine for TRD in January 2015. I am forever grateful that I was. I spent the first two years focused on my recovery. I now have an excellent treatment plan in place but I have repeatedly written about how that does not clear me from obstacles or pitfalls. I journal regularly. I educate and advocate for Ketamine Therapy to help treat depression. I write for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ, entirely based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 2.5 years.
I was recently speaking with the owner, Jason Duprat, of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Ketamine clinic about the financial stresses of being treated with Ketamine therapy. I was on a call conducting an interview with Mr. Duprat for my next blog post. The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ is one of the few centers providing low cost Ketamine infusions; for under $300 dollars a session, instead to the national average of $450 dollars per treatment, a person suffering with Treatment Resistant Depression, PTSD or chronic pain could potentially find relief for the first time in their lives. We both understand it is still a heavy commitment, but it could be ultimately life altering and worth every cent. We could both definitely agree on that and remarkably much more.
I was super excited about this conversation with the innovative thinker and Ketamine provider. Jason had been hinting about a new project for weeks and when I heard what he was putting together I was thrilled. We discussed the announcement about his new venture into training courses to help others become Ketamine providers. It was during this phone call that we started the heated debate regarding the price of Ketamine therapy. We both concur that there is a desperate need for Ketamine to help treatment resistant depression, PTSD and pain symptoms.
I will be perfectly honest with you: I found myself enjoying my conversation with this certified registered nurse anesthetist. In my opinion, Mr. Duprat thinks outside the box. I like that about him. He spots a need for education and creates a training course. He discovers how many individuals are suffering and want Ketamine treatments but who can not afford the steep price tag and makes adjustments. Jason values what patients are saying around the nation and responds. He lowered his prices in order to be able to help more people get the help they desperately need by providing Ketamine infusions ($299) as well as Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine injections ($199).
When I suggested his Ketamine center consider even lower prices, I could hear the sad smile across the miles. Jason gently replied to me that there are costs involved in running an operation; overhead costs. He apologizes and worries that he is being insensitive to my feelings and struggles. I quickly reassure him that I understand the business side, and I am not offended. I am a Ketamine advocate, and I really want to educate and offer hope. Possibly. Mr. Duprat thanks me for my advocacy and writings. He informs me that there are not too many people writing about Ketamine; especially not patients that are being treated with Ketamine.
We return to our discussion about business expenses. Jason explained how they have rent, payroll, supplies, Ketamine, insurances, and marketing costs - and that is simplifying the business for the sake of this explanation. He shared with me how $299 per infusion was the lowest realistic price for his clinic to set. He does, after all, eventually want to take home a paycheck. I can understand that. I do. We all need to make a living. What is even more obvious is we all need cash to make life happen. Money is always exchanging hands and services are typically not free. It is undeniably true.
The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ is one of the lowest charging Ketamine centers. Most Ketamine providers at charging twice that. A price tag of $450-750 dollars per treatment seem to be the common numbers I have seen while putting together my Ketamine Provider & Location List. I think at $299 an infusion and the option of IM Ketamine (which is what I can afford) injections costing $199, this Albuquerque Ketamine Clinic is going to be welcoming more patients. It has been Mr. Duprat's goal to provide Ketamine to more sufferers and hopefully offer a solution that will lift the symptoms associated with depression, PTSD and chronic pain allowing healing and recovery to begin.
We easily transitioned onto the topic of high yield and massive profits but only being able to service few, versus Jason's approach, which has more affordable options in hopes of allowing Ketamine to reach more people like me. We talked about how he could charge more, like many of the other Ketamine centers, but Jason Duprat quickly pointed out with a hypothetical example. On Monday morning let's say I receive 10 phone calls asking about Ketamine and our services. I could treat 5 clients at a cost of $500 dollars and make $2500 dollar or I could charge $300 dollars with a more long term goal in mind.
Jason informs me that he feels he has now made it available to more sufferers because of the reduction in cost per treatment. He continues explaining with his fictitious example and characters to prove a valuable point. It is quite possible that with a lower price more patients may be capable of covering the cost and find Ketamine, which equates to more symptom relief.
I feel it is heartbreaking and unfortunate that most insurance companies still reject claims by Ketamine users. Change is taking place; painfully slow.
Mr. Duprat continues, for the same 10 calls he received earlier for inquiries into treatment cost, he might happily set up 8 appointments now. Thus, he was able to offer this life altering therapy to 3 more people that may have never considered this treatment realistic at $500 dollars a session. He feels great about assisting more families in healing and taking back their lives.
I chuckle and add, that he could also offer Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine shots for $199 and reach out and help more people. You can treat all 10 callers and a few more. I assure Jason that getting a referral would not deter me. They may have to get a medical referral to receive IM Ketamine but the savings could be mind boggling. I informed him that the shots help me and I can afford them. This may be an affordable option for others too. It allows me to find relief. The injections keep the symptoms in the background for days and often over a week to ten days.
Mr. Duprat also shared with me stories of family and friends pulling him aside to express their gratitude to him and to the use of Ketamine. Ketamine is helping more than just the one receiving the infusion. I know this to be true for me and my family too. Ketamine has touched and lifted more than just my mood and outlook.
I really found it amazing when the Ketamine center owner spoke with pure genuine emotions when he said he was now getting calls from out of state for appointments seeking his service because of the lower cost. It is so important to offer low cost treatment options and sensitive personnel too. I have had several occasions during my initial contact with those hurting that I am told they will be flying into town solely based on our price. They return because we make them feel welcomed and cared for.
The stress of trying to afford Ketamine can be taxing on the mind and body. It can put a strain on relationships, but so can mental health issues. It will be nice if and when Ketamine can be offered and reimbursed by all insurance companies. It will be a beautiful day when we can focus primarily on healing and our recovery, not whether I can shuffle bills around to pay the coverage of Ketamine therapy. A copay used to annoy me to no end. We already pay a premium every month and now we have to pay to use the insurance we already send a check to every month? Now, I would welcome a co-payment.
Financial stress can make you sick. I feel it could affect the way the body uses the Ketamine too. What I mean by this is, the burden we face budgeting to cover charges for Ketamine therapy could potentially block the treatment. If the Ketamine doesn't work, then you no longer have to worry about the price tag. The mind and body are a strange complicated system. It might be possible to block the ability Ketamine has to help if you are constantly frantic over how you will pay. You may also choose not to return as often as you would like because it is just not realistic for most of our society. Some Ketamine clinics are charging more than a monthly car payment or mortgage. This treatment demands full out of pocket cost for the general population. There are a few exceptions, of course. There may be clinical studies in your area that you might be fortunate to participate in.
In general, this monthly addition to our budgets takes much juggling and sacrifices on our parts. We are once again asked to place value on our well being. How difficult it is to find worth at all when your symptoms are present and weighing you down heavily. When the noise is screaming over and over in your ear that you are worthless. Once again you are creating more medical bills to treat this horrifying illness that claims all of me 24/7. I have personal experience with these struggles. I obsess. I shouldn't put my family through any more burdens. I know that dealing with my mental illnesses is plenty. It is how I feel. I don't want to be the cause of stress in the household.
I just want to feel better. I want to stop reviewing my suicide plan. This life is not worth living, and even if it was, I can't afford it.
It creates chaos. We all react. The mind processes and searches. Your body tenses and constricts air and blood flow. Stress. Inside and out.
If we find the money not available because we need to pay the car insurance this month, how do our loved ones say no to us without guilt? How do we ask when we don't even know if Ketamine will work? It can feel impossible asking for our needs to be met when we know the balance in our bank account.
My husband and I ask these type of questions all the time. We are forced to because I have a long history with medical bills. How I would love to have all the funds we have shelled out in hopes of finding a solution that worked at lifting the depression and anxiety so I can participate in our marriage and family.
Our loved ones and support networks really want us well, as much as, we strive, long, and need to feel better. Money stress, it is just another stressor that will eventually get in the way of healing. It did for me, and many others I have been fortunate to speak with. It can be discouraging.
I know my family went through many, many adjustments after we discovered Ketamine and this new experimental treatment. We didn't have savings accounts to tap into. We raided those funds years ago paying for the numerous medications, the co payments, the specialty doctors and hospitalizations. It helps me to know that others may not have to wait months to save up the amount needed to try Ketamine. I could have made an appointment months earlier had The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ been operating three years ago.
I will conclude that it is because of the Jason Duprats of the world, the ones that are reducing the price they charge for Ketamine Therapy to make it available for more patients to try this new treatment method. I thank you.
I try to do my part too. It is not easy advocating for a drug that has a high out of pocket cost. However, I know the value Ketamine offers me. I fight to educate in hope of opening eyes and hearts. Ketamine is changing lives. We desperately need more Ketamine Clinics like The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ, willing to offer low cost Ketamine infusions and IM Ketamine shots in order to assist more people, like me, suffering with Treatment Resistant Depression.
Education is needed. Voices too. Change is critical.
Join me next week when I share my interview with Jason Duprat, the founder and creator of the Ketamine Academy; a training course to help those interested in becoming Ketamine providers. Jason is also the owner of The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ and recently went through the process of setting up a Ketamine clinic. Jason sees the importance and the need to educate medical practitioners on how they can provide Ketamine to their patients too. He has been inspired by the comments he get from his patients, and their friends and family. Jason realizes that Ketamine could benefit more people suffering with Treatment Resistant Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain issues if there were more Ketamine centers available for those suffering to find assistance. Jason expressed how he feels motivated to help others open Ketamine facilities so that it might drive the cost of Ketamine down, as well as, allow sufferers to locate a clinic closer to home and their support network. He is knowledgeable on the subject and was a delight to question. I will be posting my interview next Monday, so please look for it.
If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you or someone you know are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ($299) Ketamine infusions as well as Ketamine injection options. If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I also suggest approaching a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. Again, it doesn't hurt to ask for what you need.
I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. The list can be found here and on my personal website. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state.