Partial Hospitalization Program

Written By: Facility Staff

Edited By: Editorial Team

Published Date: 08/18/23

Last Updated: 08/18/23

Our highest level of treatment for addiction recovery at Otter House Wellness is partial hospitalization.

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a specialized treatment program that bridges the gap between inpatient care and outpatient therapy. 

Unlike inpatient programs that require overnight stays, PHPs provide intensive treatment during the day. This allows patients to return home in the evenings.

PHPs benefit people who need more support than traditional outpatient treatment but do not require inpatient treatment. 

Learn all you need to know about partial hospitalization and the targeted treatment services offered in PHPs at Otter House Wellness.

About Partial Hospitalization Programs in Addiction Recovery

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a structured treatment option that provides mental health and behavioral health care.

PHPs may treat people with mental health and/or behavioral health disorders, like substance use disorder (SUD), also known as addiction.

These programs provide intensive care for people who require more support than outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment but don’t need a hospital setting. 

Partial hospitalization may suit people who:

  • Have completed an inpatient program
  • Require intensive treatment but want to remain close to home
  • Have undergone an addiction relapse
  • Need a step-down method for addiction rehab 

PHPs offer therapeutic services that address mental health issues including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

In terms of cost, a PHP may cost less overall than an inpatient rehab program, since a PHP’s services are offered on an outpatient basis.

How Do PHPS Compare to Other Levels of Care in North Carolina?

When comparing PHPs with inpatient and outpatient treatment in North Carolina, PHPs offer a unique balance between intensive care and flexibility.

Key features of partial hospitalization programs include:

  • Intensity of care: PHPs provide a higher level of care compared to outpatient programs. Treatment sessions last several hours a day, typically five days a week. This is frequent in comparison to outpatient care, but less-frequent than inpatient care.
  • Multidisciplinary approach: PHP teams include psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and social workers. This interdisciplinary approach fosters comprehensive and holistic treatment.
  • Structured environment: PHPs offer a structured therapeutic environment that promotes stability and consistency. 
  • Treatment plans: All plans are carefully designed using a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, psychoeducation, medication management, and experiential therapies.
  • Outpatient care: PHPs do not require an overnight stay. This flexibility allows participants to continue daily activities, maintain responsibilities, and stay connected with support systems while receiving essential care.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Compared to inpatient treatment, PHPs are more cost-effective. Without 24-hour medical supervision and accommodation costs, PHPs are more affordable.

Types of Health Conditions Treated in PHPs

You can find treatment for substance use disorders like alcoholism or drug use disorders in partial hospitalization programs at Otter House Wellness.

You can also access care for a dual diagnosis, also called co-occurring disorders. 

Some common mental health disorders that occur alongside SUD include depression, anxiety and mood disorders.

What Are the Benefits of PHPs?

PHPs offer many benefits that aid in the success of the recovery journey:

  • Comprehensive treatment: PHPs provide a wide range of treatment services, ensuring individuals receive well-rounded and effective treatment.
  • Flexibility: PHPs are outpatient treatment programs which allow participants to live at home while receiving intensive care. This flexibility promotes a sense of normalcy, autonomy, and stability.
  • Maintenance of daily routines: By attending treatment during the day and returning home in the evenings, people in PHPs can maintain their daily routines, such as work, school, and family responsibilities. 
  • Access to high-quality care: PHPs like those at Otter House Wellness offer short-term, intensive, high-quality care from certified healthcare providers.
  • Reduced risk of relapse: People who enroll in treatment programs like PHPs and continue with follow-up care post-treatment are less likely to relapse.

Partial hospitalization treatment programs at Otter House Wellness provide all of these benefits and more. Learn how we can create a personalized treatment plan for you or a loved one when you contact us today.

How Do Partial Hospitalization Recovery Programs Work?

Each PHP will differ by the facility, treatment team, and personal goals of the patient. Here is a breakdown of the different components in PHPs.

PHP Goals in Addiction Recovery

Their primary goal of PHPs is to offer more intensive care than outpatient therapy but less restrictive than inpatient hospitalization.

Personal recovery goals will be different for each participant. 

Examples include:

  • Addressing the underlying causes of mental health and addiction issues
  • Developing coping skills
  • Fostering a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy

These programs strive to provide a safe and supportive environment.

In top PHPs, people should be able to explore their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. At the same time, they should receive the necessary tools and resources to overcome challenges and achieve lasting recovery.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach

The multidisciplinary team approach of PHPs at Otter House Wellness brings together a diverse group of healthcare professionals with specialized expertise in various fields.

Healthcare professionals serving PHPs include:

  • Clinicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Addiction counselors

The multidisciplinary team collaborates closely to ensure they address all aspects of an individual’s mental health and addiction. 

Assessment and Treatment Planning

In PHPs, initial assessments are vital to understanding your unique needs and tailoring a personalized treatment plan. 

These assessments evaluate your medical history, mental health symptoms, substance use patterns, and other psychosocial factors. 

To determine your needs, the treatment team will perform a series of  interviews, questionnaires, and standardized assessments. These tests will help them understand your strengths, challenges, and treatment goals.

Based on the assessment findings, the team will develop a plan considering your preferences, cultural background, and specific needs. 

The treatment plan will outline the therapies, goals, and objectives that will guide your journey towards recovery. 

Regular reassessments are conducted throughout the program to ensure your treatment plan remains relevant and effective, with adjustments as needed.

Therapy and Treatment Services

PHPs utilize various evidence-based therapies and other treatment methods to comprehensively address your mental health and addiction concerns. 

In Otter House Wellness PHPs, you can expect to find:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy which will help you identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which combines elements of CBT with mindfulness techniques, emphasizing acceptance, validation, and the development of healthy coping strategies.
  • Group therapy, where you can connect with peers, share experiences, and gain support from others facing similar recovery challenges.
  • Individual therapy sessions that provide a safe and confidential space for you to explore personal issues and work toward treatment goals.
  • Mindfulness therapy, or talk therapy that helps you become aware of the thoughts and actions that hinder your progress.
  • Art therapy, which allows you to find healing through creative expression.
  • Nutritional counseling which can help you seek physical healing to complement your psychological recovery.
  • Psychiatry services to evaluate and address all mental and behavioral health issues.
  • Support groups where you can find peers facing similar mental illnesses who provide a network for you to lean on during recovery.
  • Discharge planning, such as finding a suitable aftercare program, sober living home, or counseling to set you up for recovery success.

Medication Management Services

PHP treatment teams recognize the importance of a comprehensive treatment approach, which may include medication management. 

During your PHP, your nurse and psychiatrist will ensure your safety by:

  • Monitoring use of medications
  • Prescribing appropriate medications
  • Monitoring the effects of meds on your mental health symptoms

Medication management in PHPs involves regular evaluations to ensure effectiveness and safety. 

Family Involvement and Recovery Support

Family involvement can significantly contribute to your recovery journey by:

  • Strengthening relationships
  • Improving communication
  • Fostering a supportive environment

Family therapy sessions are often incorporated into PHPs at Otter House Wellness, allowing family members to support your recovery. 

Family therapy can help you and your loved ones develop healthy coping strategies, enhance understanding, and rebuild trust.

Who Will Benefit From PHPs in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) can help a wide range of people to receive appropriate behavioral health care. 

While PHPs have no specific age restrictions, these programs are primarily designed to serve adults and older adolescents. 

Eligibility for PHPs

Eligibility for PHPs refers to insurance requirements. 

That is, if you want to have your treatment covered by your health plan, you may need to meet certain requirements.

To be eligible for PHPs in North Carolina, you must have a diagnosed mental health condition that requires structured treatment and monitoring. 

These conditions can include but are not limited to:

  • Substance use disorders (alcohol addiction, drug addiction)
  • Depression or other mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

PHPs are typically recommended for people experiencing moderate-to-severe symptoms that significantly impair their daily functioning. 

This level of impairment may manifest as difficulty maintaining employment, strained relationships, or an inability to perform essential self-care activities.

How to Enter a PHP in North Carolina

The admissions process for PHPs in North Carolina involves several key steps:

  1. Initial contact: Start by reaching out to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, to express your need for intensive treatment.
  2. Screening and evaluation: The mental health professional conducts a screening and evaluation to assess your mental health condition, severity of symptoms, and overall suitability for PHP treatment.
  3. Treatment planning: Based on the assessment results, the healthcare provider will develop a personalized treatment plan outlining your specific goals and their recommended interventions and strategies.
  4. Admission and enrollment: Once the treatment plan is finalized, you will be admitted to the PHP and enrolled in the program. 

To start the program, you’ll need to complete paperwork, attend orientation, and familiarize yourself with the program’s rules, expectations, and schedule.

Or, you can reach out to our team now at Otter House Wellness to be connected with a treatment specialist and discuss your care needs.

How Long Are PHPs?

Partial hospitalization programs are more intensive than the next step-down level of care, intensive outpatient programs (IOP). 

A PHP typically lasts 4 to 6 hours per day, 3 to 5 days per week.

The program could last 2 to 4 weeks, or much longer depending on your treatment needs, insurance coverage, and other factors.

Insurance Coverage and Costs for PHPs in North Carolina

PHPs in North Carolina may be covered by private or state-funded health insurance plans.

However, the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific insurance provider and plan. 

Before enrolling in a PHP, contact your insurance company to understand coverage details, including any copayments, deductibles, or limitations.

The Otter House Wellness PHP works with many insurance providers, including:

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Geha
  • Magellan
  • Medcost
  • Meritain Health
  • UnitedHealthcare

If you don’t have insurance or are facing financial hardships, rehab facilities in North Carolina offer resources to help you navigate the costs of PHP treatment. 

Some financial resources may include:

  • Sliding fee scales, or payments based on income
  • Financial assistance programs, such as rehab lending
  • Grants, which may be provided through the state

What to Look for in PHP Providers in North Carolina

Before entering a treatment program, you will want to know it’s trustworthy, effective, and highly rated. 

Here are some considerations when looking for a partial hospitalization program.

PHP Accreditation and Licensing 

PHP providers in North Carolina must adhere to strict licensing requirements to ensure the quality and safety of their services. 

PHP providers must obtain licensing from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

The licensing process involves:

  • Thorough inspections of the facility
  • Verification of staff credentials
  • Compliance with state regulations for patient privacy and safety

While not required, the best PHP providers will also seek accreditation from a third-party organization. Accreditation signifies that the facility adheres to the highest standards of care.

Some top-tier accrediting organizations include The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

A High Program Success Rate 

The program you’re considering should have a high success rate. Success may be measured differently by different people when it comes to addiction recovery.

Remember: An effective PHP may help people reduce the risk of relapse, learn coping skills and methods to manage their SUD, and provide other benefits.

The success of a program may be shown by positive ratings from clients, testimonials, and a robust network of program alumni who support the facility.

Find a High Quality Partial Hospitalization Program Near You

Recovery is a long game, and a PHP with a high standard of care can help you reach your recovery goals.

Here at Otter House Wellness, we provide partial hospitalization and other forms of behavioral and mental health treatment to help you reach optimal wellness.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our North Carolina addiction recovery programs, or to find recovery resources.

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What is the goal of a partial hospitalization program?

The goal of a PHP is to help participants gain the tools, coping methods, and skills necessary to manage their mental or behavioral health issues long term.

Partial hospitalization treatment teams achieve this goal by offering medication monitoring, various therapies, counseling, group support, family involvement, and many other approaches.

What is the difference between partial and inpatient hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization is so-called because you spend a fair part of treatment days at a facility receiving therapy and other treatment services, but aren’t hospitalized. 

In other words, with PHPs, you don’t stay at the facility overnight or long term. With inpatient rehab, in contrast, you do stay overnight and for a specified period of time, such as 30 days.

How many hours a day is PHP?

Each PHP facility will differ, but programs may range from 4-6 hours per day, depending on the participant’s needs. 

The treatment plan, and the services it includes based on the person’s needs, will determine program length.

Can a PHP cure addiction?

No, PHPs and other forms of addiction treatment cannot cure a substance use disorder.

Instead, the focus of treatment is on giving participants the tools they need to manage the disorder in daily life and prevent relapse.

What North Carolina state laws support PHPs?

Significant policy changes over the years have supported the growth and development of PHPs in North Carolina. 

For example, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 that provided funding for the expansion of PHPs in the state

This funding provided the resources for additional programs, ensuring healthcare professionals across North Carolina can access support.


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