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Florida detox program prepares for growth

February 15, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Like many organizations in the addiction treatment and other medical fields, Novus Medical Detox Center (Novus) is preparing for an increase in clients.  The increase in clients is resulting from heightened demand for services as well as the changes occurring and anticipated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), says Kent Runyon, executive director of Novus (New Port Richey, Fla.). 

Runyon, who accepted the role of executive director in January, says that with the ACA changes, insurance coverage will help to bring more people from two specific areas into treatment.  Since many of Novus’ clients are younger adults, he says this population in treatment will increase due to the fact that persons up to age 26 will now be eligible to remain under their parents’ insurance.  The second group, he says, is “persons of lower means having insurance coverage that in the past they may not have had, and being able to afford our services through insurance.”

In recent months, Runyon says the center that opened in 2007 has seen “a significant increase in bed utilization to the point where we recognize that there’s additional need for the services we’re offering.”  The current expansion is at its very early stages, he says.  Currently a 12-bed facility, Novus is in the process of obtaining approvals to expand to a capacity of 31 beds with a target date of early 2014.

The design plan, Runyon says, is to make the new rooms versatile so they can be private or double occupancy rooms.  This will be done because not everyone can afford a private space and the market is driving toward less expensive services, according to Runyon.  With this system, Novus will be able to flex between a maximum capacity of 31 beds (with the rooms being double occupancy) and 22 beds (all private rooms).

Besides the additions, the expansion at Novus also includes renovating the current space, says Runyon.  Because the facility has constantly been at or near capacity, Runyon says the staff didn’t want to disrupt the patient experience in order to complete desired renovations.  Now with additional space, he says the staff will have the opportunity to relocate the existing center into the new wing and then come back to do renovations without disturbing the patients.

Runyon says the center will expand its patient counseling space so that there is more group space available.  (Besides the detoxification aspect of Novus’ client experience, there is also an educational component to prompt patients to continue their recovery process when they discharge.)

While in the detoxification process, patients at Novus receive specially formulated IVs to ensure hydration and replenishment of the nutrients, vitamins and amino acids that were depleted by drugs or alcohol, in an effort to eliminate the pain of withdrawal.

“We implement holistic and nutritional solutions that really help to rebuild the body that has been damaged over years of abuse with the chemicals they’ve been using,” explains Runyon.



The ACA (Affordable Care Act) does look like it will provide an increase to the number of insured. As long as benefits are not reduced or eliminated I also think that there should be an overall increase to the number of beds needed for areas aspects of drug detox, substance abuse, and mental health providers.