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Turnaround Time at Arizona's Decision Point | Print |
Articles
Written by Ted Jackson   
December 2015

For Many Years, Nick Meyers was a fixture wherever you went on the treatment circuit. That was back more than a decade ago and he was trying to get his new Arizona Decision Point Center off the ground. But he couldn't quite make it and the business needed periodic infusions of capital....

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MAP AT Cutting-Edge Of Treatment Outcomes Measurement  E-mail
Written by Ted Jackson   
September 2015

For Jacob Levenson, the story of how he got into the treatment industry is a pretty familiar one. He had, like so many others, an experience that had exposed him to the business and he saw opportunity as well as a chance to do some good. What Levenson did after surveying the treatment landscape was found a company in Austin, TX, that appealed to Levenson's entrepreneurial zeal while at the same time identifying a major gap in treatment services that needed filling - outcomes measurement...

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Seniors Help Drive Caron's Plans for Major New Medical Center  E-mail
Written by Ted Jackson   
July 2015

For the Caron Board the fourth time was the charm. That's how many times architect Ted Mondzelewski and his team at Philly-based Architectural Concepts had to come back with plans for a $15M medical center, the critical backbone to Caron's push to become the leading name when it comes treating addicted seniors and the elderly, a top candidate for the fastest growing segment of the treatment industry. Working out of Florida, arguably the leading professional in seniors addiction care is Caron's Barbara Krantz, ...

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Formerly Mark Houston, Benchmark Among Pioneers of the "Austin Hub"  E-mail
Written by Ted Jackson   
November 2014

Almost two years ago, Treatment Magazine wrote a Special Report around The Florida House in which we discussed their program  and network of high quality sober living homes, quoting the then CEO of CRC, now board chair, Andy Eckert. He was discussing how the payors were looking for alternatives to what they see as a revolving door when it comes to paying for seemingly endless primary care experiences, and we compared that to Hazelden CEO Mark Mishek's published comments that residential addiction treatment expansion along the lines of typical primary care seemed to represent limited opportunity these days...

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Adolescent Athletes: Paradigm Malibu
Written by Ted Jackson   
September 2014

When the two partners, top West Coast psychology mavens Cole Rucker and Jeff Nalin, sold their Echo Malibu adolescent center to CRC Health Corp., it was one of CRC's earlier deals for smaller high-end centers. And it contained what was standard for CRC transactions, which was a non-compete clause that kept the two highly entrepreneurial clinicians out of the California Six-Bed Model marketplace for a time."Frankly, it felt good to step back for a while...

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Origins Recovery Center in Booming Texas
Written by Ted Jackson   
July 2014

About a decade ago, Treatment Magazine profiled a Texas addictions legend, putting the late Mark Houston, who right down to his name evokes Lone Star imagery, on the cover of our magazine. After having held leadership positions in Texas treatment for years, he was opening a center outside of Austin in the hill country there, being among the very first pioneers of a major addiction treatment "hub" that has grown up around the state capitol. And it was right near this hub that, as so often happens in the treatment industry, a couple of guys in early recovery met, talked about their visions and stayed in touch....

 

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Elements' Lucida: Treatment's Multi-Cultural Future  E-mail
Written by Ted Jackson   
April 2014

As the composition of the nation's demographics shift big time, with the amazing swift rise especially of the Hispanic segment of the national population, but also Asians and many other ethnic groups, it poses an especially large challenge, and opportunity, for the addiction treatment industry. Of course, at the heart of the therapeutic process is the ability to communicate properly on a deeply in depth basis, which is hard enough to do period, but immeasurably more challenging when barriers of language and culture intercede...

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Florida House Sober Living Leader
Written by Ted Jackson   
December 2013

When the CEOs of the nation's two largest addictions treatment enterprises, on the for-profit side Andy Eckert of CRC Health Corp. and on the non-profit side Mark Mishek of Hazelden, step up with strong views on what they see as the limited prospects for growth on the residential/inpatient side, it's certainly time for the rest of the industry to sit up and take notice...

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Sea Side Palm Beach: Nation's Leader in Psychodrama Therapy
Written by Ted Jackson   
September 2013

About a decade ago, the late Don Mullaney invited a reporter to look at a property. Mullaney usually liked to make a grand entrance, this time pulling up in a fire-engine-red 1960s Ferrari. Throwing the hatch open, he grimaced, in clear pain. Saying hello with his usual, impeccable good manners, he explained that he'd just gotten into a motorcycle crash and shouldn't be driving in the tight Ferrari anymore. But after pausing slightly, he said: "I'm not giving it up."

That was vintage Don Mullaney - the Florida addiction market pioneer and Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, BHOPB, co-founder - steely determined and never giving up.  And, to a large extent, that has also turned out to be the story behind the nearly 10-yr odyssey it's taken BHOPB to fully develop the property Mullaney wanted to show me, then as yet not named and just a construction zone. Not only was the scale pretty impressive, three large side-by-side town homes, but it didn't escape this reporter that the location was on the ocean side of the Intracoastal Waterway, which has been a virtually impenetrable NIMBY barrier, the highest value choicest real estate in South Florida, the busiest "destination" addiction treatment market in the nation...

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Addictions Internet Marketing: Content is King... Once Again
Written by Ted Jackson   
July 2013

As Barry Karlin addressed the Avondale Partners behavioral health investor conference years ago he made a revealing statement, saying that CRC Health, the company he founded that has had acquisitions at the heart of its growth model, had made as its most successful purchase not a treatment enterprise - Sierra Tucson most famously ,for example - but instead that honor went to an obscure Internet concern called 4therapy.com. CRC agreed in 2005 to pay as much as $9M for the tiny company, a fortune given that therapy had less than $750K in revenues, not to mention free cash. But Karlin didn’t care about 4therapy as an enterprise, what he needed desperately at the time was a quick way to ramp private pay revenues after paying a reputed 13x cash flow for Sierra Tucson, which was to be the first in a series of purchases that were to set CRC down a path of huge reliance on cash pay.

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Caron's Hanley Addiction Center Rebirth
Written by Ted Jackson   
March 2013

It looked like pretty much a slam dunk good play at the time, many many years ago before the emergence of the Sierra Tucson’s and Meadows’ of the world, to do a deal with Palm Beach med surg St. Mary’s - med surg was big in addictions in the 1980s - and take a track of land in environs that are arguably the worst on offer at a destination renowned as a playground for the rich. Fast forward and the deal that placed Hanley right in the middle of one of the worst neighborhood’s in South Florida, not to mention saddled with hospital-style institutional infrastructure, was the bane - the heavy albatross they just could NOT shake - when the Hanley family and a very devoted excited and hopeful staff famously attempted independence from Hazelden.

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Gateway Rehab: A Key Retirement
Written by Ted Jackson   
December 2012

As Ken Ramsey looks to retirement in the middle of next year, he has much to be proud of as he surveys his accomplishments. Over 40 years ago he took charge of the institution founded by the much beloved Dr. Abraham Twerski, scion of a revered rabbinic heritage and among the most famous and pioneering addiction psychiatrists whose practice saw its heyday just as the U.S. treatment industry was taking on its contemporary form.

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Michael Cartwright: A Prolific Addiction Treatment Entrepreneur
Written by Ted Jackson   
September 2012

As Jerrod Menz talked about merging his tiny Forterus affordable center company with Michael Cartwright’s American Addiction Centers, AAC, little did Menz know that, slightly more than a year later, he would emerge as a walking advertisement for everything that Cartwright and AAC are all about – radical transformation through the rigorous application of wellness therapeutic techniques.

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Silver Hill Hospital: A Northeast Addictions Center Resurgent
Written by Ted Jackson   
May 2012

SPECIAL REPORT: Silver Hill ResurgentAs years passed, 80-year-old-Silver Hill Hospital slowly began to lose some of the big caché tied to its venerable name, which had long been associated with delivering the top private care in New York's environs. It's multi-acre Connecticut campus - complete with its own bridge offering views of rushing streams- had grown to include over a dozen buildings - houses and structures that had been built and acquired over time. It was into this tableau of facilities that Richard Turlington recently stepped...

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Midwest Addiction Center Gap
Written by Ted Jackson   

A number of years ago, in the 1990s, the Lemon family, a very large, very Catholic brood, took on a project they looked upon as a civic duty but that also, it turns out, became a pretty unique business opportunity. Decimated by thinning ranks of churchgoers, and even fewer who are willing to take vows in a life's calling, Catholic facilities have been closing nationwide at a rapid rate, giving rise in some cases to extraordinarily attractive redevelopment opportunities...

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Drug Policy Reform
Written by Ted Jackson   

Over the last couple of years, the editors of the New York Timeshave been running a series called War Without Borders, an outstanding War on Drugs exposé that is part of a flood of news coverage as Mexico becomes The New Columbia, with over 50,000 dead south of the border in the last five years. In was no accident that the NY Times editors chose Ohio - America's heartland in a "if it can happen here it can happen anywhere" message - as the setting for its lead series article, which described an average family's descent into heroin addiction hell that resulted in the eldest son being found dead in the bathroom with a needle in his arm. The article, with its descriptions of easy and cheap heroin availability in a suburban setting, was a brilliant journalistic depiction of a failed 35-year War on Drugs  policy that has put emphasis on cutting drug supply - the policy of interdiction - over an emphasis on addiction treatment and a policy of demand management...

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CRC's Barry Karlin: America's Methadone King

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CRC is Minting Money With Methadone, But Its Opiate Clincs May Not Play Well on Wall Street

About four years ago, Phil Herschman approached Barry Karlin with a deal to buy a group of methadone clinics scattered throughout the country. Ultimately, Karlin teamed up with Herschman and bought the methadone clinics in a transaction that was to set CRC Health Group down a very profitable, yet potentially controversial, path of major expansion into the methadone maintenance business.

Methadone maintenance is disdained by many in the treatment industry as a therapy that simply replaces addiction to one drug for another. And while much of the medical community and government agencies like SAMHSA have been strong supporters of...

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Florida House: A Huge Addiction Center Expansion
February 2009

Treatment Magazine Feb 09Like so many treatment entrepreneurs in recovery, Sherief Abu- Moustafa has come to the realization, post recovery, that any success he may have had, pre-recovery, came pretty much in spite of himself, rather than because of himself. "I know now that God was doing for me," Sherief says, adding that in the 1990s he had a strong entrepreneurial bent. Sherief was a well paid, highly trained psychiatric nurse who, he says, on the side made millions speculating in Boston real estate.

Fast forward several years, and Sherief, in recovery and married with a new life in South Florida, has partnered with investors to relaunch a well known halfway house, Florida House, into an ambitious experiment in affordable long-term addiction care, with a continuum that encompasses primary treatment all the way through lightly structured sober living.

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Sierra Tucson's Bill O'Donnell: The Birth of the High End
Written by Ted Jackson   
January 2009

Bill O'Donnell says he initially had no thought of selling Sierra Tucson, despite having recently sold a majority stake in its sister company, Miraval spa. "But as things moved forward with CRC it became apparent that a deal would probably get done, so I resolved to let go," he said. In the end O'Donnell did let go, selling the institution he founded over 20 years ago for what is probably the highest price ever paid for a single treatment center, $130 million.

The sale caps a career in which O'Donnell remained associated with Sierra Tucson through all of the sharply swinging fortunes of the treatment business over the past two and a half decades.

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New Science-Based Models
Written by Ted Jackson   
December 2008

New Science-Based ModelsNot too long ago, a group of investors got together, some of them addiction docs, but mostly just ordinary investors with a keen interest in backing a truly unique, highly integrated science-based model of addiction treatment, a development that may be the first of its kind ever attempted in the addiction treatment industry.

And this month that model, principally the brainchild of renowned addictionologist Dr. Harold Urschel, came to life in the form of Dallas-based Enterhealth, which just a few weeks ago opened its 16-bed Life Recovery Center, the residential piece of a treatment model that is quite possibly about as entirely evidence-based as exists anywhere in the U.S., or even worldwide, addiction treatment universe. "Our goal here was really to examine closely the known science surrounding addiction," says Urschel, who is...

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A Big Expansion
August 2008
Prevention and Recovery Center, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, TXFour years ago, Matt Feehery approached the powers that be at Houston's giant Memorial Hermann hospital system with a plan for a huge expansion of the medical provider's Prevention and Recovery Center, PaRC, substance abuse treatment facility.

When he started at Memorial Hermann a few years earlier, the addictions offerings at the non-profit, one of the biggest hospital systems in the nation that this year is celebrating its 100 year anniversary, were a very minor, relatively small part of the system. And the few beds that there were weren't being completely filled. As is often the case in large med surg operations - and Memorial Hermann is large, with 14 hospitals and almost a million patient visits annually - it appears that addiction treatment had been a bit of an afterthought when Feehery arrived to take control.
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