Can the ketamine clinic model withstand financial strain?
In an unexpected shift, prominent ketamine clinic networks in the US have suddenly shuttered due to financial difficulties, leaving patients uncertain about the future of their mental health treatment. Missteps in financial planning and underestimation of operational challenges were among the reasons cited for these closures.
- Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC) and Field Trip Health & Wellness, two of the largest ketamine clinic networks, recently closed their doors due to financial difficulties.
- KWC was forced to shut after being unable to pay staff and maintain new, low-volume clinics, while Field Trip aimed to cut costs and conserve capital.
- Factors such as the high cost of treatments not covered by insurance and an overestimation of patient influx, likening the clinics to urgent care facilities, contributed to these failures.
- The sudden closure of these clinics, especially KWC which had treated nearly 100,000 patients since 2011, has left many patients in a state of uncertainty and distress.
- Some patients were unable to access their own health records, meaning they could not continue their treatment cycle elsewhere without starting over – a significant investment of time and money.
- Patients in non-metropolitan areas now face hours-long drives to reach alternative treatment centers, and obtaining first-time patient authorization can be a long process.
- Despite current financial challenges, there may be a way forward for ketamine clinics, with 2-5 significant players possibly emerging to consolidate small ketamine clinics, similar to the DaVita dialysis model.
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