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Dallas-area center initiates improvements to consolidate medical services

January 8, 2016
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Leaders of Dallas-based Enterhealth believe that to realize their full vision for a medically driven addiction treatment program, it makes sense to consolidate medical services that are presently scattered across their 45-acre residential campus. Within the next month they will begin occupying a 2,000-square-foot expansion that will accommodate a nurse's station, private consultation rooms and ample space for neurocognitive testing, among other services.

“We will have a good functioning nursing station, which will allow for more private conversations with patients,” Enterhealth co-founder and president David Kniffen, Jr., tells Addiction Professional. With around half of Enterhealth's residential treatment patients requiring some form of withdrawal stabilization upon admission, the provision of on-site medical services can start to get chaotic if the services are not consolidated around one physical space, says Kniffen.

Enterhealth was founded nine years ago on the principle of offering individualized treatment based on multiple approaches that bring together medical interventions and other research-based strategies. Kniffen says the campus improvements are designed primarily to enhance alrerady existing services rather than initiate new ones, although the changes will facilitate the development of new clinical approaches as evidence of their benefits emerges.

Kniffen says that two such interventions to continue to watch in this regard are neurofeedback and transcranial magnetic stimulation, the latter of which has been studied widely in mental health treatment and may have greater applicability. He indicates that Enterhealth seeks to emphasize a careful review of the medical evidence for various interventions over time, in a field that is prone to jumping quickly on what appears to be a hot trend.

“You're in an industry that every year or two has a 'flavor of the month,'” Kniffen says.

Steady growth

Enterhealth operates the Enterhealth Ranch residential campus in Van Alstyne, Texas, just north of Dallas, as well as a Dallas-based outpatient site. Its residential location has steadily expanded from 16 beds at its start to 28 and now 38. Most of its patients come from Texas and surrounding states in the region, and the organization has begun to see a greater complexity of presenting issues around polysubstance use, chronic pain and other factors, Kniffen says.

Enterhealth was founded on a self-pay model that allows for extended stays that presently average around 45 to 50 days, although Kniffen says the facility does try to work with patients' insurance coverage where feasible.

Another aspect of the $1 million medical expansion of the Enterhealth residential campus involves facilitating neuropsychological testing that leads to implementation of proprietary remediation techniques for patients, giving them tools to heal the parts of the brain that are compromised by addiction. Enterhealth also is increasing the number of private therapy offices on its campus.

Kniffen explains that all of this is part of a comprehensive approach to treatment that looks at success beyond abstinence to encompass quality-of-life factors such as work performance, success in personal relationships, and engagement in the community.

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