Florida is one of the epicenters for drug treatment in the United States. Hundreds upon hundreds of addiction treatment centers have opened, especially, in South Florida in the past several years. With promises of serene walks on the beach, effective treatment and beautiful surroundings, many clients and their families believe that Florida is the ideal place to recover.
To be sure, Florida offers a multitude of benefits, but ultimately a person’s recovery will depend on a number of factors including their willingness to recover, level of support from family and friends and the quality and care provided by the treatment center.
Regardless, the cost of treatment is a very big deal for most families seeking treatment for their loved ones. After all, addiction treatment can be expensive. This is exacerbated by clients that oftentimes enter treatment, then relapse and ultimately need more treatment – the cycle goes on. This is not necessarily due to the quality of the facility they attended, but rather the nature of addiction, which does not have a cure.
As a result, the cost of treatment can be significant, often causing financial hardship both on the client themselves and their families, who simply want the best for them.
Factors Affecting Cost of Treatment
When evaluating the costs of treatment, the top line number tells only half the story. Yes, there are luxury, cash-pay only facilities across the United States that ask for tens of thousand dollars a month promising the most effective treatment while living in luxurious surroundings. There are also local, state or federally managed programs that are very low-cost or even free.
However, most treatments facilities fall somewhere in between and even then, cost can vary dramatically. So what are the principal costs associated with seeking treatment here in South Florida?
First, are the travel costs. Clients will travel to South Florida to receive treatment. Some treatment centers, including Destination Hope, will work with the family to arrange for travel, including pick up and transportation once the client arrives in South Florida. The cost of travel may be included in the cost of treatment or broken out as a separate charge. Speaking to an admissions counselor at the facility you’re considering will answer this question.
Anyone who has health insurance through a marketplace will also have coverage for behavioral health, including addiction and mental health issues. Coverages can vary depending on the insurance company and even the individual policy. However, just because the client is covered by the insurance policy does not mean that treatment will cost them nothing. Insurance policies have co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles, all of which require out-of-pocket expense. Whether the treatment center is in network with your insurance company also makes a difference. Typically, in network insurance offers the patient a lower out-of-pocket expense because the insurance company negotiates special pricing directly with the facility. Out of network coverage can often cost the client and their family more.
The first step to finding out how insurance can cover some or all necessary treatment costs requires calling us at any time or by filling out our insurance verification form to learn more about your policy and what it covers.
Clearly there is some ambiguity as to exactly how much addiction treatment for behavioral health can cost. This is mostly due to the opaque nature of insurance plans and their relationships and dealings with treatment facilities. It is important that you work together with the admissions team at the facility to get a better understanding of what your cost will be. The facility should be able to check your insurance benefits and give you a good idea of what is covered and what isn’t. From there, you can decide whether that treatment facility is right for you.
With that said, there are concrete ways to reduce the overall cost of treatment:
Choose the right facility
As we mentioned before, there is no cure to addiction and most patients relapse more than once in their recovery. Of course, relapse means more treatment and therefore more expense. However, quality facilities go a long way toward reducing the number of relapses that the client will experience by offering exceptional treatment. However, measuring quality becomes difficult.
Ensure that the treatment center is certified and licensed by a number of important quality indicators such as Joint Commission, Department of Children and Families and AHCA. The certifying and licensing bodies regularly reevaluate and sometimes make unscheduled appearances at the facility to ensure quality and compliance.
Choose Appropriate Care
Make sure that the facility you are considering offers the appropriate levels of care necessary for you or your loved one. Many people suffering from addiction have co-occurring mental health disorders and vice versa. Treating these co-occurring disorders, known as dual diagnosis, requires specialization in a facility that can handle both behavioral issues. Not all facilities are equipped for this. Be sure to ask about the treatment referral protocol when co-occurring disorders are present.
Gender Specific Programming
Choosing a gender specific program, such as the one offered by Destination Hope, is also very important to keeping costs lower by improving the quality of care. As you can imagine, recovering around people of the opposite sex can be daunting and makes many clients in recovery clam up and not discuss their true feelings.
Be sure that the facility you are considering has appropriate aftercare. As the client starts to cycle through the levels of care, they will eventually head back to “normal” life. That does not mean that they have to be alone, however. Facilities that offer transitional living and a solid aftercare program keep the recovering addict involved in their treatment and offer a safe place to return to if they ever are faced with temptation or the possibility of relapse.
All of the above combine in making treatment more successful and ultimately reducing long-term cost. Treatment that does not address the root causes of the clients’ mental health or behavioral issues sets them up for a never-ending cycle of entering treatment then relapsing.
Be your own advocate and make sure you get the length of treatment you need to recover. The length of treatment at a particular facility will depend largely on the effective workings between the clinical staff and their utilization review counterparts. Together they regularly submit your treatment plan to the insurance company, which determines whether they will cover additional treatment and if so, for how long. The ability of the utilization review team will go a long way to ensuring that the you receive an appropriate amount of care. However, if the insurance company denies a request for additional, clinically necessary treatment, you can and should file an appeal.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of the drug epidemic today is that many people do not seek care both because of cost and because many treatment centers do not offer tailored programs that help reduce the number of readmission’s. As a result, it is estimated that only 10% of people who require behavioral healthcare actually receive appropriate care. This is even more shocking when government statistics show that for every $1 spent on effective Behavioral Health care, including mental healthcare and addiction treatment, we as a society save between $4 and $7.
What If You Have Trouble Affording Drug & Alcohol Treatment?
Financing can also be arranged through the treatment facility. Typically, third party financing companies work together with the treatment facility to offer special packages that are based on the clients’ creditworthiness or that of their family. Clients can also consider borrowing from friends and family to cover any insurance gaps. Lastly, state, local and federal programs, veteran programs and certain cultural programs may have scholarships and grants for treatment.
There is always a way to get clean and return to a substance-free life. We invite you to contact our team to discuss the details of your specific needs and situation.