August 22, 2014

Florida Rehab Centers

Florida's Ritzy Rehab Centers

Florida -- Palm Beach County in particular -- is home to a thriving recovery industry that increasingly caters to wealthy substance abusers.

Marilyn Adams | 8/30/2011

Only when his wife threatened to leave him and take their young son did he check into the 80-bed Hanley Center in West Palm Beach. The center, he says, got him sober and saved his life.

Insurance helped, but Dash still paid $20,000 out of his own pocket for a month of treatment. "It was not an inexpensive proposition," says Dash, 57, now retired and living in Palm Beach Gardens. "For me, it was worth every penny."

Hazelden
Hazelden Naples [Photo: Stormi Greener]

Large Upscale Operators in Florida

Caron Treatment Centers (Wernersville, Pa.) — Subsidiaries: Caron Renaissance, Boca Raton, and Hanley Center, West Palm Beach

Hazelden (Center City, Minn.) — Subsidiary: Hazelden Naples

Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs: Boynton Beach, Boca Raton and Lake Worth

Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, Lake Worth — Subsidiary: SeaSide,
Singer Island

Dash's refuge is one of the largest and oldest addiction treatment centers in Florida. Hanley, a non-profit, was founded 25 years ago by Mary Jane and Jack Hanley, a former CEO of Monsanto, after she was treated for alcoholism. Today, the first month of in-patient rehab costs $32,000 for a shared room. Hanley recommends patients get three months of treatment, with stepped-down fees for the second and third months.

Hanley's business development director, Michael Walsh, says Hanley's price includes housing and meals, a swimming pool and gym, doctor and nurse consultations, therapy and tests.

"It's really expensive to do really good treatment," says Walsh. These days, he says, Hanley's price is just "middle of the road."

Dr. Paul's at the Bay
Dr. Paul's at the Bay [Photo: Dr. Paul's at the Bay]

The intense competition for clients like Dash who can pay those "middle of the road" prices is evident in several ways, including the eagerness of national chains to expand. Caron Treatment Centers, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit that operates facilities in Wernersville, Pa., Dallas and Boca Raton, is merging with Hanley, which will add 20 beds for a new program for adolescents or young adults at its West Palm Beach campus.

Michael Walsh
"It's really expensive to do really good treatment," says Hanley business development director Michael Walsh. [Photo: Scott Wiseman]
The competition is also mirrored in the rehab centers' aggressive marketing. With some facilities relying on out-of-state patients for as much as 90% of their business, luxury centers maintain elaborate websites featuring slideshows of beaches, pools and luxury accommodations. They cultivate relationships with out-of-state hospitals, employers, counselors and labor unions. And they try to ensure they can be found on the internet by potential clients. SeaSide, for example, strives to make its website, luxuryalcoholdrugrehab.com, appear at or near the top of Google search results for "luxury alcohol drug rehab."

Several factors continue to drive the ritzy-rehab trend, most obviously, a supply of substance abusers willing and able to pay — in cash — for themselves or their children to detox in comfort. For the most part, the clients, not insurance companies, foot the bill. Many health insurers no longer automatically authorize a month of in-patient addiction rehab as they once did. Instead, insurers approve payments for treatment they determine to be appropriate, with policyholders picking up the rest of the tab.

In Treatment
In recent years, treatment centers have developed more programs targeting a specific clientele — for example, programs for lawyers, doctors and other professionals. Many treatment programs focus on younger patients: Twentysomethings, college students and even teenagers hooked on alcohol or marijuana or prescription drugs.

Once at a center, patients begin detoxification and undergo medical, psychological and social evaluation. Then a treatment plan is developed: The patient begins a daily schedule of lectures, individual counseling, group therapy and specialized therapy (for grief, chronic pain, early-life trauma, relapse prevention and other ailments). Patients also may receive physical therapy, massages, etc. Psychiatric problems are treated with medication and counseling.

Tags: Healthcare

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