When seeking inpatient treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues, many people wonder if residential inpatient is the same thing as treatment in an inpatient psychiatric unit. Although both types of treatments are considered inpatient which means you sleep and eat at the facility, there are many differences between the two. Here we will discuss what you need to know about Residential Inpatient vs  Psychiatric Hospital Treatment.

Common Terms Used in Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment

If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues, finding the appropriate treatment can feel overwhelming. Not knowing the lingo used by treatment providers and insurance companies can add to the frustration and confusion. The two entities may seem to be speaking a different language that appears foreign to you.
Luckily there are common terms used in the psychiatric world that will make the learning curve easier for you to navigate the system and help you find the most appropriate treatment.
Level of Care– This is a term you will hear often and refers to the frequency and intensity of the treatment, as well as where the treatment takes place.
Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization– Inpatient psychiatric hospitalization or inpatient psych for short, is the most intensive level of care and occurs in a hospital setting. A psychiatric emergency, such as when someone poses a danger to themself or others, often requires immediate intervention and 24-hour monitoring for safety.

Medically Managed Detox-This generally occurs in an inpatient psychiatric hospital or medical unit when someone is withdrawing from substances and has life-threatening symptoms that require around-the-clock care.

Residential Inpatient Treatment– Commonly referred to as RTC, residential inpatient treatment is a less intense level of care than an inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. It is still considered inpatient since the person stays at the RTC, but care is provided in more of a home-like setting.
Sub-Acute Detox– When someone is withdrawing from substances and does not need immediate hospitalization to treat symptoms, they are often admitted to what is called sub-acute detox. Generally, this can be provided at an RTC on a separate unit from others who are receiving treatment at RTC. Once someone is stabilized in the subacute detox unit, they can move to the general population at the RTC.
SUDS– A commonly used acronym that stands for Substance Abuse Disorders.
Dual Diagnosis– Someone who is diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder. Also sometimes called co-occurring disorders.

Similarities Between Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment

There are several similarities between residential inpatient treatment and treatment at a psychiatric hospital unit. First of all, both levels of care are considered inpatient where you stay overnight at a facility. Secondly, both types of treatment treat people diagnosed with mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders and co-occurring disorders.
Another similarity between residential inpatient and inpatient psych is that a comprehensive evaluation is conducted upon admission and a treatment plan is developed based on the initial assessment. Discharge planning occurs at both levels of care.
Some of the treatment modalities used as the same for residential treatment and psychiatric hospitalization. These may include individual, family and group therapy and medication management.

Differences Between Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment

Let’s first take a look at inpatient psychiatric hospital treatment since it is the more intensive higher level of care. Treatment takes place in a hospital that may be free-standing or connected to a medical hospital on a psychiatric floor. An inpatient psych unit is locked, and patients are monitored 24/7 to ensure safety.
Inpatient psych stay is generally short to provide emergency stabilization of psychiatric or substance abuse symptoms, but in rare and complicated cases may stay in the hospital for a longer length of time. You do have a bed and receive meals at an inpatient psych unit, yet it is in a hospital setting which may not be as comfortable as at an RTC.
Once the patient is found to not be in any immediate danger to themself or others, they are usually discharged to a lower level of care, which may or may not include a residential inpatient treatment facility.
Generally, treatment at a residential inpatient facility does not require the facility to be locked. Patients are discouraged to leave before their goals have been met, but are free to leave the residential treatment center if they wish.
Residential inpatient treatment is very structured, with a daily routine that may include counseling, groups and recreational activities. People who receive treatment at a residential inpatient treatment facility live in a comfortable room, sometimes with a roommate, and sleep and eat all meals at the facility.
The length of stay at inpatient residential treatment is usually longer term than at a hospital. The treatment team determines the individual length of stay based on current symptoms and medical necessity criteria.

Finding a Qualified Provider When Seeking Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment

Inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is considered an emergency treatment, and you will most likely not have a choice of providers. Usually, a person with severe mental health or substance abuse symptoms presents to an emergency department (ED) and is transferred to whichever psych unit has an open bed. This may or may not be in the same hospital as the ED.
Finding a qualified provider for residential inpatient treatment can require a bit more intense search. You will want to find a residential inpatient treatment center that has a national accreditation and licensed providers.
Your initial call to a residential inpatient treatment center will be with an admissions coordinator who will usually do a phone screening for symptoms and discuss treatment options based on the screening. They will also address any financial concerns or other questions about their facility.
For more information about the admissions process for RTC and what to expect call Transformation Mending Fences at (888) 611-3188.

Practical Tips About Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment

If you or a loved one is experiencing a psychiatric emergency, you should call 9-1-1 or go straight to the closest emergency department. The ED can do a full assessment of your symptoms and provide a direct admission if necessary.
Do not worry about calling your insurance company when it comes to inpatient psychiatric hospital treatment. The hospital will take care of any pre-authorizations needed from your insurance company and most insurances cover emergent care admissions.
When it comes to residential inpatient treatment, one of your first calls should be to your insurance company by simply calling the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. You will want to ask about mental health and substance abuse benefits, including residential inpatient treatment center care, as well as financial issues such as costs for in-network vs out of network providers, deductibles and co-pays. Insurance companies are required to disclose the bottom line of what you will have to pay for any treatment.
One helpful tip for getting insurance assistance with your RTC stay is to request case management services if your plan provides this benefit. A case manager is a medical professional who works with insurance companies to help members with practical matters like finding providers, authorizations for treatment and giving general support for your condition.

Residential Inpatient vs Psychiatric Hospital Treatment- Next Steps

No person should struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues on their own. The good news is that help and hope are available. Acknowledging that you are struggling with mental health or substance abuse is the first step to recovery.
Call Transformation Mending Fences now at (888) 611-3188 for additional information about residential inpatient vs psychiatric hospital treatment. Admission counselors are available to answer all your questions and give you the support you deserve, as well as resources and referrals.