A northern Michigan residential treatment program that offers customized faith-based curricula and daily scheduled exercise periods also looks different from many other centers on the payment end of the business. Administrators decided when they opened Best Drug Rehabilitation last November that they would identify one flat payment rate for services, regardless of length of stay in the largely self-pay program.
“They’re getting a result more than a number of days,” says Dan Green, the Manistee-based center’s senior director of expansion. At a rate of $15,900 for anything from a 30-day to a 90-day stay, Best Drug Rehabilitation appears to be avoiding the price shock that is likely experienced by individuals and families examining treatment options on both coasts of the U.S.
If medically supervised detox is needed for a Best Drug Rehabilitation client dependent on substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, the overall flat rate for services is $18,400. The program does work with insurance.
Best Drug Rehabilitation has the capacity to serve 175 adults at a time in the residential program, although founder Per Wickstrom says the center would like to keep the census no larger than 100.
Wickstrom took a circuitous route to running a center where flexibility appears to be the watchword. Once featured on the television show “COPS” as he fled authorities after a drug sting, he says he found recovery through a Narconon program in 2000 and opened a facility loosely based in Scientology teachings three years later. Now he runs a program in which clients have access to multiple faith-based curricula, including those in Native American, Christian and Muslim spirituality.
Most Best Drug Rehabilitation clients will not be able to complete the program in fewer than 40 days, and some might need upwards of 90, says the center’s leaders. The clinical program is based largely on improving clients’ communication skills; teaching them to confront issues and therefore devise solutions; and helping them to regain personal control.
“What determines length of stay has a lot to do with a client’s willingness, physical stability, and ability to apply the information that is learned in treatment,” Green says.
He adds that cost control has been an important priority for leaders of the center. “If you look at the big picture, families generally have only one opportunity to save their loved one’s life,” Green says.
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