July 28, 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

Operation PAR
Operation PAR [Photo: Mark Wemple]
Although many moderately priced rehab centers do well with insurance benefits, some pricey centers don't like working with insurers because they won't pay high fees, rehab executives say.

With a steady stream of customers, the centers can provide treatment at profit margins ranging from about 10% to as much as 25%, according to rehab center executives. Behavioral Health would not disclose its revenue but says SeaSide has experienced a gross revenue increase in excess of 20% year over year.

The market has been so lucrative that some middle-of-the-road providers have begun to offer upscale services as well. The main rehab program at for-profit Palm Partners Recovery Center of Delray Beach costs $19,500 a month. But CEO Peter Harrigan says the center found that its clients included "executives who needed an environment where they could still run a company and have some anonymity."

Three years ago, Palm Partners opened "Platinum Partners," a $30,000-a-month program that provides elegant private apartments with private pools, catered meals, internet access and limousines. Patients participate in intensive counseling, yoga and hypnotherapy as well as spa treatments. Palm Partners, which is privately held, targets executives, pro athletes, entertainers and other wealthy addicts. "People with money want a certain standard," Harrigan says. "There's a real need for this level of care."

State officials expect no letup in the trend toward swanky rehab centers. "We have several applications in the process for high-end facilities targeting the wealthy," says Cathy Claud, DCF's substance abuse service coordinator for Palm Beach County — including a 117-bed facility in Tequesta modeled after the Betty Ford Center in California. Monthly charges? About $38,000.

Says Claud: "It's a good investment."

Why Palm Beach?
The proliferation of high-end rehab facilities is no accident in a county that's among the wealthiest in Florida. Dennis Grady, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, notes that Palm Beach County has attracted other forms of high-end medical services, such as the Cleveland Clinic. And with so many rehab centers, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups and "sober" houses, the area projects a nurturing environment. It has the greatest concentration of recovering people in all of Florida, says Mark Fontaine, executive director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.

Tags: Healthcare

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