FACTS ABOUT KETAMINE AND VA GUILDELINES

UPDATED FEBRUARY 1, 2024:
Forty-One (41) VAs Now Reimburse Veterans For Clinical Ketamine Suicide Prevention Treatments

Q1. How many VAMC networks in the country are offering Ketamine treatment?  –

A1: As of August 2023, 41 VA facilities across the system offered either Ketamine for mental health treatment or esketamine.

Q2. How many are in Florida? (and names)

 A2: The Gainesville, Florida, Health Care System and the Orlando, Florida, Health Care System offer either Ketamine for mental health treatment or esketamine at the facility.

 Q3. What are the future plans for VA, regarding this treatment?

 A3: VA will continue to expand the number of VA facilities that offer either Ketamine for mental health treatment or esketamine on-site at the VA facility. In addition, Veterans may access these treatments at VA facilities that do not offer them through referrals to community care providers.

“As of August 2, 2021, the VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reported there were 21 facilities providing intravenous ketamine treatments for treatment-resistant depression.” – VA OIG Report

 

Updated: 20 August, 2023.
Official VA Support For:

 

  • KETAMINE
  • VA GUIDELINES
  • REMIBURSEMENT
  • EFFECTIVENES
iv drip bottle on a hanger

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is starting to get it right when it comes to mental health.

Six Facts and One Pre-Filled Referral Form

Facts Below. Form here.

FACT

Ketamine is Effective and Allowed by the VA/DoD Guidelines

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Major Depressive Disorder (2022) states that: “Evidence suggests both ketamine infusion and intranasal esketamine improve depressive symptoms in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who have not responded to at least two previous adequate trials of antidepressant medications” (p.51).

FACT

The VA Pays for Ketamine IV Treatment via the Veterans Care Agreements (VCA)

The Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of the Inspector General reported that “as of August 2, 2021, the VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reported that there were 21 facilities providing intravenous ketamine treatments for treatment-resistant depression.”

FACT

IV Ketamine is safe for repeated infusion treatments.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (2018) concluded that repeated ketamine infusions, when administered under appropriate clinical supervision, with minimal risk of sever adverse effects. 

FACT

IV Ketamine and Spravato (esketamine) are different medications with IV Ketamine being more effective.

Ketamine and Spravato have distinctions in composition, administration, and approved uses. Ketamine, a generic medication used off-label for depression and anxiety, can be adjusted in IV therapy to improve tolerance. In contrast, Spravato, a brand-name nasal spray, does not offer the same adjustability in dosing.

FACT

Community Care referral for IV Ketamine can be entered by any VA licensed health-care provider.

The VA Pharmacy specifically states that a VA psychiatrist or VA licensed health care provider (i.e., CPP, NP, PA) can determine and document that a patient qualifies for Ketamine treatment (p2). If a veteran has failed to achieve a full response for four adequate anti-depressant medications or has severe suicidal depression then a referral can and should be made.

If a veteran is more than 40 minutes from one of these facilities, then the veteran is approved for a community care referral with a contracted provider in the community.

FACT

Community Care will reach urban and rural veterans.

If a veteran is more than 40 minutes from one of these facilities, then the veteran is approved for a community care referral with a contracted provider in the community.

Thank to Chris “Doc” at Doc’s Ketamine in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. 877 DOC-KETA. Doc suffered with PTSD for 18 years after his deployments. He became an instant advocate after his first successful IV ketamine treatment. He had his suicide planned just in case. KAP works!
It is because of Doc that we are able to reproduce his hard-earned investigation and content. Call Doc first!

The VA has 21 hospitals providing IV ketamine at their facility. Doc’s Ketamine has been able to find a few of these locations:

  • San Antonio, TX
  • Gainesville, FL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Francisco, CA
Doc's head is in a ketamine iv drip bag

Prevention and Postvention – Veteran Suicide Ends Here

About Once A Soldier: Starting in 2017, our mission is to limit the scars of Veteran suicide. We offer prevention services and postvention services. We reach a national audience and our goal is to become the preferred channel for those who want to help Veteran families who need our services. With 17 Veteran suicides a day in 2021, we believe our two niche services will make a difference to each family and to our nation.