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Calif. provider seeks to fill vacuum in mid-range pricing

October 21, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A Los Angeles-area addiction treatment organization is seeking to ensure that some area residents with substance use treatment needs won’t fall through the financial chasm between high-end luxury rehab and safety-net programs for the poor.

CLARE Foundation, which operates 11 residential and outpatient programs in Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City and Los Angeles, will open the outpatient Conscious Recovery by CLARE in January. The facility will offer intensive outpatient and day treatment services at a cost of around $3,500 to $6,500 per month, and CLARE has begun negotiating to go in network with a pair of insurance companies so that more of the program fees could conceivably be paid by insurance.

“There is a huge need on the west side of Los Angeles for a middle-income price point,” says Jennifer Musselman, program director for Conscious Recovery by CLARE.

With a public transportation line from Los Angeles now being extended into Santa Monica, CLARE saw Santa Monica as an ideal site for an outpatient program that would attract individuals transitioning from residential care as well as those questioning whether they might need first-time substance use services. But even in a Southern California area that outsiders would assume was dominated with progressive thinking, it was difficult to find a location that did not generate unrest from surrounding neighbors.

Musselman says CLARE finally identified a building whose owners support the concept of recovery, and CLARE says it is in the process of converting and furnishing the property in an environmentally conscious way. It will not hide its presence in the community, instead planning to open up its day treatment room to community events and educational lectures.

“We really want our facility to become integrated into the community, to ‘de-shame’ the disorder,” says Musselman.

Clinical approach

Diana Cho, PsyD, clinical director for Conscious Recovery by CLARE, says that CLARE’s master’s- and doctoral-level clinicians have been actively involved in designing the new program’s curriculum. The organization also has established a medical advisory board and has invited a former CLARE patient to contribute to shaping clinical services as well.

Cho says Conscious Recovery’s clinical team will reflect the rich cultural diversity of the Los Angeles-area patient population, adding that the program’s intake coordinator is fluent in Spanish.

Conscious Recovery will employ research-based interventions such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness strategies, but will take a holistic approach overall. Central to this will be a focus on attaining a greater purpose in one’s life; this will be emphasized in the later stages of a clinical program in which outpatients will stay at least a month and possibly longer.

“The goal is to help people lead a more fulfilled life,” says Musselman. “This will include improving communication skills, and engaging in strategic risk-taking.”

One of the treatment modalities that will support this effort is logotherapy, which was developed by Viktor Frankl and is rooted in the notion that all individuals have a healthy inner core and need to be enlightened to the internal resources that will help them find purpose in their lives.

CLARE Foundation’s roots date to the late 1960s, when some community members began distributing food and literature to homeless and indigent alcoholics who congregated on the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. It opened its first facility, a detox and education center, in 1970.

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