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How to choose a Treatment Center

It's important to know what you’re looking for when choosing a treatment center for you or a loved one, and it is also important to beware of people who are not being upfront about what services they provide and the cost of those services.

  1. There is a difference between accepting your insurance and being in-network with your insurance company.  All facilities will tell you that they can accept your insurance.  That doesn’t mean they are in-network and contracted with your insurance company.  Ask your insurance company for referrals to in-network providers.  It keeps their cost down, which keeps your premiums lower.  Your out-of-pocket cost will most likely be lower as well.Some facilities will tell you that it doesn’t matter if they are in-network or not, that the cost to you will not be different, or that you won’t be responsible for your deductible or co-pays.  If they are doing this, it is illegal.  Facilities are not permitted to waive these fees.  They do it, however, and then just bill your insurance astronomical amounts to make up for the difference.
  2. Ask what level of care the facility is licensed to provide.  If you are going to be spending the night as part of your treatment, make sure the facility is licensed to provide residential treatment.  Many facilities have clients spend the night away from the clinical offices and don’t obtain a residential license, but they are essentially providing that level of care if you are sleeping anywhere that is affiliated with their facility. If the treatment center is only licensed for day or PHP treatment, you should not be sleeping there.Why aren't they licensed for residential?  It's simple.  The licenses for higher levels of care require more compliance and meeting of standards that monitor quality of treatment.  The rules and standards that facilities have to abide by lessen when the services are provided at lesser levels of care.
  3. Look for a facility that has quality accreditation.  The gold standard of accreditation in healthcare comes from The Joint Commission.  This accrediting body oversees and conducts surveys to make sure facilities are providing quality care to the client.  Another accrediting body is CARF.  This accreditation also oversees behavioral healthcare facilities but has not been around as long as The Joint Commission.
  4. Make sure the facility you go to provides the type of treatment you are looking for.  Some facilities provide treatment that is abstinence-based, which means that they do not support the client taking anything addictive as part of their recovery.  Some facilities use maintenance medications that are addictive.  Ask about their philosophy and make sure it aligns with what you are looking for.
  5. Many of the facilities in our industry are going "public" and are owned by large conglomerate corporations.  When you call in to speak to someone at the facility, ask them if they are physically located at the facility they are representing or if they are at a "call center."  Many facilities are now farming out calls, and the people on the other end of the phone are located in a call center and have neither seen nor visited the facility they will be sending you to.

Yes, treatment can save lives when suffering from substance abuse or an eating disorder.  However, it is important to choose an accredited treatment center that is reputable, has a high standard of care and provides the type of treatment that will meet the individual’s needs. Before you make a decision that has the potential to change lives, please do some research, have a list of questions, and ask if you can come for a site visit at the facility you’re considering. If you have more questions please request more information about Turning Point of Tampa here.