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Partial Hospitalization Programs

If you are struggling with substance misuse or addiction, learning more about treatment can help you make an informed decision about your health. This page will help you learn more about partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), including what they are, what to expect, and who can benefit from one.
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What Are Partial Hospitalization Programs?

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a hospital-based form of outpatient drug rehab.1 These programs offer services similar to an inpatient program but do not require patients to live at the treatment facility.1

The difference between a PHP and an intensive outpatient program (IOP) is the amount of time required. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recommends that PHPs provide 20 hours of programming per week, while IOPs provide 9 hours per week.2 PHPs also offer medical and psychiatric services, while IOPs may not.3

Who Can Benefit from a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization programs may be a good fit for patients who:4

  • Need a high level of care but have a stable living situation to return home while in treatment.
  • Have already completed a hospital or residential treatment program but are at risk of relapse.
  • Have a hard time motivating themselves to continue treatment.
  • Have a co-occurring disorder (e.g., anxiety, depression).
  • Are not making optimal recovery progress in an intensive outpatient program (IOP).


What Should I Expect From a Partial Hospitalization Program?

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) typically begins with a diagnostic interview performed by a licensed clinician who will review your medical history.5 You will also be evaluated for mental health issues that might need additional attention as well as undergo alcohol and drug screening.5 A multidisciplinary team of mental and medical health providers will use the information to develop an individualized treatment plan that outlines goals for the person to meet while in treatment as well as a discharge and relapse prevention plan.5

What to Look For In a Partial Hospitalization Program

Things to look for in a partial hospitalization program (PHP) include:

  • Positive online reviews. Read about other people’s experiences with the program and see what they had to say about it.
  • Quality staff. Find out as much as you can about the background of the staff: their training, experience, and treatment approaches.
  • Programs close by will be easier to get to, increasing your chances of attending each day.
  • High staff-to-patient ratio. A higher ratio means more staff will be available to give you more personalized attention.

Paying for a Partial Hospitalization Program

Paying for treatment can feel daunting, but there are several payment options for partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). If you have insurance, you can contact your provider by calling the number on the back of your insurance card to learn what is and isn’t covered.

If you don’t have insurance, or if insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of treatment, you still have options. Consider inquiring about payment plans or sliding scales, in which the rehab facility adjusts the cost based on your ability to pay. Ask any programs you’re considering if they offer these options. You can also research loans and healthcare credit cards.

Medicare does cover partial hospitalization. However, not all programs accept payment from Medicare, and those that do must first meet certain requirements. The program must be offered through a hospital outpatient department or community mental health center.8

Medicare does not cover everything related to treatment. For example, Medicare will not cover meals and transportation. Medicaid coverage for substance misuse and addiction rehab varies by state. Visit your state’s Medicaid website for more information.8

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of evidence-based addiction treatment with AAC addiction treatment centers throughout the U.S. To learn more about PHPs and to see if your insurance covers treatment, you can contact one of our caring admissions navigators at . Our team is available 24 hours per day. Calling is confidential and free, and there is zero obligation to enter treatment.

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