How to Choose Treatment
The Internet is flooded with treatment options of all kinds. The more you surf the web and read, the more confusing it seems.
Inpatient, outpatient, art or water aerobics; country or city, close to home or across the nation; so many choices, flavors, styles, focuses, and promises. We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you choose the right treatment for yourself or a loved one.
Of course, our team is always here to assist as well.
Watch Out For:
● Generic websites or advertisements that don’t clearly identify what treatment programs the site or advertiser represents. They may just be collecting phone numbers and email addresses for patient “brokers,” who will then try to connect you with whatever treatment center is paying them.
● Whether the person you’re speaking to receives referral fees from the treatment center. “Brokers” are paid by the head to get you or your loved one into a particular treatment center, whether or not it’s the right one for you.
● Offers to pay for travel. If someone is offering to cover travel to Florida or another location, call the treatment facility or your insurance company to confirm that the person is an employee. In certain states, paying for travel may also be considered an illegal inducement.
● Offers to pay for insurance coverage or to waive co-pays or deductibles. See above.
● Offers of free rent from “sober homes” — the offsite homes where addiction patients are often housed — in exchange for attending a particular drug treatment program.
● Daily or near-daily lab tests that cost thousands of dollars.
● A treatment center that doesn’t ask for in-depth information about the patient or doesn’t ask for access to any therapists or counselors previously used by the patient. Without this information, the center won’t be able to assess whether the patient is a good fit.
● Unsolicited referrals from marketers or hotlines to treatment centers out of state. Treatment centers that aren’t in your state may be considered out of network by your insurance company, meaning the centers will be able to bill the insurers more.
Questions You Should Ask:
● What’s the staff-to-patient ratio? The lower the ratio, the better. Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors?
● Can the treatment center handle other medical needs, like mental health issues or diseases like hepatitis C?
● Are licensed staffers available 24 hours a day?
● What kinds of support are offered after treatment? Does the program have an “alumni” program that offers followup, and does it help families put together an after-care plan?
● Is the program able to adapt to the medical history, trauma background, culture or gender identity of the patient?
● Is the center in-network with your insurance? If not, what out-of-pocket expenses should you expect?
● Is the program transparent, or does it simply tell you what you want to hear?