Blog Written By: Karin Swenson BBA, LCDC-I Director of National Marketing Shadow Mountain Recovery Centers
As many of you have probably experienced in your search for quality, ethical residential treatment centers to either refer a loved one or client, so many rehab facilities look amazing and share a lot of information on services that look similar across the board. It may be hard to determine what makes one a better fit from another. I have spent over 7 years in the addiction field and worked with many families and clients to help discern what might be the most appropriate facility for that particular person to go to.
Throughout my journey working with people seeking treatment, my stance has always remained the same that it is imperative that we as professionals in the addiction field must help families and other professionals navigate the plethora of options available and make it our goal to know details about as many places as possible. If we don’t know, then we need to have someone we can reach out to that can shed additional light on more options that we may not be aware of. I have compiled a list of questions to ask any facility of interest that some of you may find helpful when doing your research to determine the best fit.
First and foremost, when you are working with a person to determine what someone needs, it is important to know if the family has insurance or financial means to help pay for treatment. If someone has unlimited means to private pay for treatment and aftercare, the ability to create the most appropriate fit may be easier to accomplish than if someone is primarily insurance dependent or if someone does not have any financial means to pay for treatment and needs a scholarship, state funding, or needs to use Medicaid or Medicare.
The statements above are not to say that it takes money or insurance to find the best care because expensive treatment does not equate to quality, ethical care. I only make that statement because it may take more work and/or creativity to uncover and create a plan when resources to access treatment are limited. Another reason to know what kind of resources a person has to access treatment is to determine which route to take to start looking at options. Some treatment facilities are long term which means that insurance will not cover the entire length of stay, some are primarily cash pay and do not accept insurance, and some only accept commercial insurance. Knowing this can help someone determine what resources they can access more swiftly and as we all know this disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful so being able to find an appropriate facility quickly can mean the difference of someone getting treatment or not at times.
Secondly, it is important to know what type of treatment someone needs. Many people today have complex issues that may entail treatment for multiple conditions such as substance abuse, mental health, trauma, sex addiction, and many others. Knowing what types of treatment someone needs will help one to determine which facility is most appropriate. It is also important to understand when a facility states they work with dual diagnosis versus co-occurring disorders. It is also important to know if a facility is licensed as mental health or substance abuse primary or if they have a dual license. This is helpful to know especially if you are needing to use insurance to access treatment as well as make sure that a particular facility can address the needs of your loved one or client.
In addition to the two main questions above, I have compiled a list of additional questions that one may want to ask when looking into a particular facility. This is not a comprehensive list, but one may find these questions useful.
- How long is the typical length of stay? Is there a continuum of care within the organization or is a discharge plan created upon completion of residential treatment for each client prior to leaving the facility?
- Is the facility gender-specific or does the facility offer gender-separate groups?
- Does the program offer a specific family program or family involvement during the treatment stay?
- What does the daily and weekly schedule entail for clients?
- How many individual sessions does a client have weekly?
- How many groups a day does a client attend?
- Are there any ancillary costs or is the program costs all-inclusive?
- How often do clients attend outside recovery meetings?
- What outcome data can you provide me over the past year for the facility and the clients that have attended the program?
- What is the average age of the clients in the milieu?
- Does the facility offer specific types of programs i.e. professional programs, first responder programs, young adult programs, etc?
- What credentials do the clinical staff have?
- Does the facility offer a medical detox or social detox? What is the difference between the two?
- What activities do clients participate in during off time?
- What is the facility known for and/or specialize in?
- Does the facility offer a psychiatrist and/or medical doctor on-site?
- Phone and Computer Access? Depending on the needs of a client, this can be an important question.
Again, this is only a small list of compiled questions I have shared with others in the past, but hopefully, it will give you a broader range of questions to investigate if a facility is the most appropriate for your loved one or client.
Our team at Shadow Mountain Recovery is dedicated to helping those in need access to the treatment that is right for them. Please feel free to reach out to any of us and we will gladly help you to determine if one of our facilities is right for you or if somewhere else would be more appropriate. Tune in next month for another article written by one of our talented business development teams that are dedicated to helping others and sharing their experiences working in the field of addiction.