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Partial Hospitalization

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Partial hospitalization refers to a comprehensive, short-term, intensive, clinical treatment program. With regard to level of treatment, partial hospitalization is a step below inpatient hospitalization but more concentrated than traditional outpatient care. Clients are generally referred to partial programs when they are experiencing acute psychiatric symptoms that are difficult to manage but that do not require 24-hour care. The goal of treatment is to help the client and prevent or reduce inpatient hospitalization. This level of care can also be used as a “step down” program for those clients who have completed an inpatient or residential program. Those who choose partial hospitalization programs are able to live at home, but they spend three to five days per week at the treatment center. These programs may be offered in hospitals or community mental health centers. Clients experiencing acute distress in their lives may benefit from a partial hospitalization program. These programs help clients understand their illness, adjust to medication schedules, build coping skills, and set recovery goals that will enable them to return to functioning.

Most partial hospitalization programs include the following treatments:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Skill-building
  • Psychiatric medication assessments and check-ins

Common Questions

Q: What is the average cost of partial hospitalization programs?

A: A full day of partial hospitalization costs, on average, $350–roughly half the cost of 24-hour inpatient treatment, according to Health Care Industries of America, a health care consulting company.


Q: How long is the duration of a partial hospitalization program?

A: A partial hospitalization program is an intense, short-term treatment program. Each patient’s length of stay will depend upon the patient’s individual treatment needs.


Q: What happens after treatment is completed?

A: Many clients will continue to “step down” in their level of care by going to a less restrictive Intensive Outpatient Program or to regular outpatient sessions with their therapist. Continued support will help the client keep the gains they made during their stay.