Partial Hospitalization Program

Get back to your normal with our partial hospitalization program, a flexible option to help you get the psychiatric care you need without disrupting your life. 

What is the Behavioral Health Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

PHP is a voluntary mental health outpatient day program held at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital. The program is conducted between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. PHP provides mental health treatment to individuals who do not require inpatient hospitalization but who has needs that are not able to be met at the outpatient level. The program is made up of a multitude of groups throughout the day as well as weekly contact with the Psychiatrist or Physician's Assistant.

Patient length of stay in PHP depends on a variety of factors to include the individual's illness, treatment plan, monitoring of medications, etc. The average length of stay is 10-12 business days. Individuals are expected to attend PHP on a daily basis and attend all PHP groups.

Who is appropriate for PHP?

  • Ages 18 and older
  • Individuals struggling to cope with daily stressors, those whose mental health is hindering their ability to function, or those who are stepping down from an inpatient unit are some of the individuals who may be appropriate for PHP.

Who is not appropriate for PHP?

  • Individuals who are actively using or abusing substances to include illegal drugs/substances, prescription medications, alcohol, etc.
  • Individuals who are court ordered to participate in mental health treatment.
  • Individuals who do not have transportation to and from group daily.

How are patients admitted?

There are two ways that individuals can be admitted to PHP. Individuals can present to the Emergency Department to be evaluated by a mental health professional or individuals can be referred by their mental health provider (therapist, psychiatrist, another mental health facility, etc).  The referral source should contact the PHP office at 301-475-6232 to provide clinical information.

Treatment Program

  • Psychiatrist and Physician's Assistant: The psychiatrist directs and monitors each patient's treatment. Each patient in PHP meets with either the Psychiatrist or the Physician's Assistance at least one time per week, including the date of admission and the date of discharge. Prescription medications are prescribed based on each individual's needs.
  • Licensed Social Worker/Case Manager: The case manager coordinates insurance authorization and discharge plans for each patient. Psychotherapy groups are facilitated daily by the case manager. He or she will also provide family meetings and individual counseling depending on each patient's assessed needs.
  • Psychiatric Nurse: The nurse will meet with each individual to complete the intake assessment and will monitor and evaluate treatments and medications prescribed by the doctor. Education groups are facilitated on a daily basis by the nurse and medication education is provided on an individual level as needed.
  • Occupational Therapist: An occupational therapist will conduct groups on a daily basis. These groups will provide activities to improve and promote life management skills, leisure awareness, and assist in enhancing quality of life.

Contact Us Today


Behavioral Health service areas at MedStar St. Mary's, include, but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Brain Stimulation
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Medical Psychology
  • Memory Disorders
  • Mindfulness Courses
  • Mood Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Psychiatric Services
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stress Reduction
  • Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency
  • Supportive Group Therapy
  • Transplant Psychiatry
  • Women-Focused Care

Learn more about other outpatient mental health services.