Denial Plagues Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
I have been writing treatment blog articles for over 20 years. Quite frankly I find this story on denial, to be quite entertaining to write. You see this is not about addicts in denial or their loved ones. This story is about treatment center operators being in denial about the devastating low censuses that are going to occur in 2019. You need to read on because this will affect all treatment centers no matter how they acquire new clients.
It is estimated that 40% of all clients who entered substance abuse treatment in 2018 were procured by some form of monetary compensation.
Referral Marketing is Not Always What it Looks Like for Drug Rehabs
It is estimated that 40% of all clients who entered substance abuse treatment in 2018 were procured by some form of monetary compensation. Some compensation was legal and ethical and some were illegal and unethical. I am not here to comment on the past, nor what is right or wrong, I am here to comment, on what I see is being overlooked, by most treatment center operators today.
In 2019, when H.R. 6 is enacted, a provision in the bill intended to end patient brokering in the substance abuse industry will cause a legitimate marketing dilemma for all treatment center operators. The bill states, any person or business that solicits or pays any remuneration for a client to enter treatment in 2019 will be subject to up to 10 years in jail and or a $200,000 fine per occurrence. That is a very broad language and is sure to end the majority of patient brokering.
So how will this new Federal Law affect a substance abuse treatment center that does not engage in paying for clients?
Federal Laws Will Be Enforced on Substance Abuse Centers
So how will this new Federal Law affect a substance abuse treatment center that does not engage in paying for clients? First, we all know there will be a reduction in properly insured clients who are seeking treatment.
On the first of every year in the last 5 years, we have seen the number of PPO insurance policies available for consumers to purchase evaporate. Employer policies which are the bread and butter of treatment centers are seeing substantially increased deductibles and copays on the first of each year.
The most qualified clients are those that have met their deductibles and out of pocket max. When patient brokers stop paying those clients to relapse and supplying them with drugs, so they can place them in treatment 3-4 times a year, a large portion of potential clients will disappear. All of this comes into play January 1, 2019.
Why do I say most treatment centers operators are in denial?
Why do I say most treatment center operators are in denial? Simple I have talked too many and most basically all say the same thing “I am going to wait and see how this all plays out next year”. However, a few savvy operators like American Addiction Centers have been vocal supporters of these new federal and state law changes. They have been expanding their call centers, preparing marketing programs, increasing their web presence and taken other preparatory measures.
Get prepared for the fallout
With insurance deductibles being reset on most policies January 1, less PPO insurance policies will be available. On January 1, deductibles and copays will be skyrocketing. Basically, 40% of the most lucrative clients will no longer available this coming year. What are you doing to prepare?
Do not wait any longer to react, act now with new marketing strategies
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Most treatment centers owners will read this and wait until they’re at 75% census to make changes. Heck, that’s what I tend to do. Why? … because being under pressure is when we’re most motivated. Fear really puts us into top gear.
However, I want to give you some brutal tough love. Don’t wait until you are at 50% census or less to make changes. An ounce of prevention saves lives. Be prepared with fresh new marketing strategies. Being proactive about what is going to happen six months from now can save your facility.
Your business was built by other people who are in denial of their problem. Now your business can be destroyed if you stay in denial. Allow me to hammer home the point. Most of us went into business because of our personal experience with addiction. We all know that addiction rests on a foundation of denial. So it’s time to give ourselves the same advice we give to others. That is … get into action.
If you are a treatement center and need to know more about these changes call me directly to see what we can do for your center before it’s too late.
Written by Bruce Berman, co-founder of 800 Recovery hub