Beds Better Get Filled –
November 24, 2018 – But some investors are focused on developing high-end residential facilities for self-pay and commercially insured patients rather than comprehensive outpatient services for both publicly and privately insured patients. Their resort-like residential centers, often serving affluent patients who fly in from out of state, don’t necessarily offer medication-assisted treatment or a full continuum of follow-up outpatient services. Relapse rates are high. That worries addiction treatment experts, who say providers should be building systems that offer a complete array of evidence-based services for people in their own communities and that are available to everyone who needs care.
“Investors say they have to buy the programs that will give the best return on their dollar this quarter and the next quarter, and the best investments have been residential programs,” said Thomas McClellan, who was deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama administration. “Residential care is an important part of the continuum, but it’s been overvalued. The best kind of care is continuing care, for six months or longer, in an outpatient setting.” McClellan is working with Shatterproof, an addiction treatment advocacy group, to pilot a quality rating system for providers in three states, for use by consumers, payers, regulators and referring professionals.