Cost Of Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Rehab Programs

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs represent the two main levels of care in addiction treatment. Outpatient drug rehab programs generally cost less than inpatient programs, due to room and board provided with inpatient care and other factors.

Cost Of Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Rehab Programs

Two of the most common addiction treatment options are inpatient rehab programs and outpatient services.

Depending mainly on the severity of a person’s substance use disorder (SUD), they’ll attend either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

As with most medical decisions, cost is also a factor. In general, outpatient rehab programs cost less than inpatient treatment.

This is mainly because outpatient programs don’t provide room and board or 24/7 medical care, because clients don’t stay onsite.

Below we’ll explore and compare the costs of inpatient care versus outpatient care, and what factors may influence what you or a loved one will pay.

Comparing Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment Costs

People with more severe SUDs will typically benefit most from inpatient care, while those with mild to moderate addictions may find sufficient care through an outpatient program.

Cost Of Outpatient Rehab Programs

Outpatient treatment programs generally cost less than inpatient care. This is because outpatient programs don’t provide accommodations or round-the-clock care.

Instead, clients attend treatment sessions and return home afterward. Costs can vary widely depending on the program’s duration, services offered, and location.

Outpatient treatment is a more preferred choice for people with:

  • milder addiction issues
  • strong support systems at home
  • work and family responsibilities they can’t leave behind for an extended period

There are also several levels of care within outpatient treatment, with more intensive levels generally costing more than less intensive ones.

Levels of care in outpatient treatment include:

  • standard outpatient treatment: usually the least expensive, because it requires the fewest hours per week of treatment sessions
  • intensive outpatient programs (IOP): can be more expensive because more time is spent in treatment
  • partial hospitalization programs (PHP): typically the most expensive form of outpatient treatment, due to lengthier treatment and the inclusion of medical services

Cost Of Inpatient Rehab Programs

Inpatient rehab facilities tend to be more expensive than outpatient options due to the comprehensive services and 24/7 care they provide.

The costs typically cover:

  • room and board
  • medical supervision
  • therapy sessions and other treatment

Inpatient treatment programs may be more appropriate for someone with:

Though inpatient treatment centers can be more expensive, they are known as the most effective level of care in the addiction treatment world.

Consult with your doctor or mental health professional to learn which choice is appropriate for you.

Factors Influencing Your Rehab Program Costs

Several different factors can increase or decrease the overall cost of addiction treatment. No matter a person’s financial situation, accessible treatment options are available.

Factors that affect addiction treatment costs include:

  • duration of treatment: Longer treatment programs typically have higher costs.
  • type of facility: Luxury or private rehab centers often charge more than nonprofit or state-funded rehab centers.
  • facility location: Treatment centers in urban areas generally have higher fees.
  • additional services: Specialized therapies, medical services, or amenities can increase costs.

Many people pay for addiction treatment using private health insurance. However, this is only one payment option among the many available.

Payment options for addiction care include:

  • public health insurance, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans
  • federal, state, or local grant funding
  • payment assistance options, such as a sliding fee scale or payment plan
  • self-pay
  • scholarships
  • private loans, or loans provided by treatment facilities

Find SUD Treatment Today

Find the right addiction treatment center for you or your loved one by visiting, or call us today for assistance.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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