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CRC enters new region with major opioid treatment acquisition

December 11, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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CRC Health Group is entering a new geographic market and is expanding its footprint in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction with its newly announced acquisition of Habit OPCO, the country’s fourth largest operator of opioid addiction clinics.

In an interview with Addiction Professional this week, CRC chief executive R. Andrew Eckert said both his company and Habit OPCO have prioritized the introduction of Suboxone treatment to accompany methadone services at most of their clinic operations. “I’m pretty sure we will learn as much from them as they will from us,” says Eckert.

Habit OPCO operates services in 22 locations and has a presence in four Northeast states in which CRC currently has no facilities: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont (the company also runs clinics in Pennsylvania).

CRC announced this week that it expects the acquisition deal to be finalized in the first quarter of 2014. Eckert says that having a new presence in the Northeast certainly could pave the way toward additional inroads in that market for the company.

According to a CRC news release announcing the acquisition, Habit OPCO was one of the first opiate addiction program operators to receive accreditation, and also broke ground in the field by offering mobile treatment services.

Eckert describes Habit OPCO as a well-run company focused on patient satisfaction and characterized by significant longevity in its management staff.

With this latest acquisition, the nation’s largest addiction treatment provider organization will significantly expand what is already the country’s most extensive network of opioid treatment operations. Eckert says that nearly all of CRC’s clinics for opioid addiction now offer both methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine plus naloxone) in their programming.

CRC now maintains a total census of around 2,000 patients receiving Suboxone treatment, Eckert says, and while that still represents a small percentage of its overall opioid treatment population, it is helping to address an underserved population that requires comprehensive services.

Eckert adds that he expects much of Habit OPCO’s team to remain in place at the soon-to-be-acquired facilities.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based CRC also continues to prioritize expanding capacity in many of its treatment facilities around the country. “We’ve added 200 residential beds over the past year in our various facilities,” Eckert says.

 

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