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Townsend Recovery Founder Sought in Statewide Dragnet, Conspiracy To Kidnap Wife  E-mail

08/11/2017 - ATIN- The founder of Louisiana's Townsend Recovery is being sought in a statewide criminal dragnet. The tale behind this is tangled and highly disturbing, including charges of conspiracy to kidnap his wife amidst an acrimonious divorce. Michael Handley is a highly successful treatment entrepreneur who founded Townsend, a chain of outpatient clinics sold  a couple of years ago to Michael Cartwirght's American Addiction Centers for $20M+. read the AP report

Treatment Magazine

 
Florida's Lakeview Set to Expand into Metro Houston Market  E-mail

08/11/2017 - ATIN- Jacksonville-based Lakeview Health has begun work on a 10K+ square foot facility north of Houston that when it opens in Dec will be the addiction care provider's first Texas facility.  Late last year, Lakeview was acquired by The Riverside Company, a private equity firm that specializes in micro cap leveraged buyouts. The Houston area expansion is Lakeview's first major move post acquisition. The new Houston operation will be a "Florida Model" type operation, offering patrial hospitalization and IOP, with a particular emphasis on tapping into demand for continuing care services services by offering transportation services for sober living clientele and an onsite dining room for IOP clientele.

Treatment Magazine

 
AAC in Big Facility Sale Leaseback Deal With Medical REIT  E-mail

08/09/2017 - ATIN- In a type of transaction known as a sale leaseback, often used by companies to unlock liquidity from fixed assets like real estate. publcly traded American Addiction Centers has sold a number of its residential and outpatient properties to a medical REIT and enterted into lease agreements with the REIT, raising $25M.

AAC CEO and founder Michael Cartwright was not immediately available for comment.

read the press release

Treatment Magazine

 
Treatment Development Partnership Files Fed Anti-NIMBY Suit in Chicago  E-mail

08/07/2017 - ATIN - A development partnership that sought to convert a 125+ bed former boarding school property into an addiction care facility, but earlier this year was denied rezoning by a county board, has filed a major suit in Chicago federal court alleging illegal NIMBY discrimination. read the report

Treatment Magazine

 
Treatment Investor Group Closes on Big Colorado Luxury Resort Conversion Property  E-mail

08/06/2017 -ATIN- A Federal judge in Feb swept aside a NIMBY lawsuit seeking to block the sale of a Vail, CO resort to an investor group, which last week closed on the 56-room property. The group plans to start in Sept on the first $20M phase of a $136M project to convert the formerly troubled resort into what would be one of largest ultra high-end addiction care centers in the nation. read the report

Treatment Magazine

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So Fla's Ambrosia in NJ NIMBY Expansion Battle  E-mail

07/24/2017 - ATIN - South Florida-based Ambrosia Treatment Centers is in the midst of a protracted NIMBY battle in its efforts to expand its addiction treatment operations into the state of New Jersey, where enormous demand for treatment services routinely bumps into some of the fiercest resistance to facility location of anywhere in the nation. read the report

Ambrosia Treatment Centers, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. operates a facility in Medford (Burlington County, NJ) in addition to three in Florida and one in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Medford location is a New Jersey Alliance of Recovery Residences certified residence, according to reports.

Ambrosia did not respond to an email request for comment from Treatment Magazine.

Treatment Magazine

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Fomerly High-Flying California Treatment Provider Declares Bankruptcy  E-mail

07/23/2017 - ATIN - A formerly fast growing Costa Mesa sober living and treatment provider, whose revenues were at one point over $100M, has declared bankruptcy. read the OC Register report

Treatment Magazine

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Internet-Based Addiction Treatment Slowly Gaining Traction  E-mail

07/21/2017 - ATIN - Addiction telehealth provider Lionrock Recovery has treated over 1,000 clients on its Internet-based platform, with current census around 80. Like many treatment providers, Lionrock is dealing with slashed reimbursements from insurance payors, whose out-of-network benefits Lionrock relies on for most of its revenues.

The 7-year-old company has established a leading reputation and position in the small but potentially enormously disruptive "distance" behavioral health space, a sector full of companies seeking to find their footing. Other distance behavioral health ventures run the gamut from well-funded clinical efforts like Talk Space based in New York to tiny Ascent in Cleveland, which is seeking simply to apply IPhone app tech to peer-to-peer aftercare support.

The onerous weight of escalating client acquisition costs, particularly the high cost of Google keyword-based advertising, has forced Lionrock to be nimble and innovative, says co-founder Peter Loeb. And the convenience of streaming care into people's homes has resulted in a unique client demographic for Lionrock. The company has a much higher proportion of time-pressed women head-of-households as well as both men and women who are full-time employed than at traditional brck and mortor treatment centers, he says

READ our 2012 feature story on Lionrock

Treatment Magazine

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Miami Beach Treatment Center Seeks Illinois Residential Expansion  E-mail

07/20/2017 - ATIN- A Miami Beach treatment center is seeking to expand in Illinois with a proposed 40-bed residential center. read the report

Treatment Magazine

 
Kaiser Analysis of Medicaid Role Addressing Opiate Epidemic  E-mail

07/20/2017 - ATIN - Kaiser has released a definitive study on Medicaid's role in dealing w the opiate crisis. read the report

Treatment Magazine

 
California Blue Cross Hit By Addiction Care Class Action  E-mail

07/20/2017 - ATIN - A major class action suit alleging thousands of instances where California Blue Cross illegally denied addiction and mental health claims has been filed. read the report

Treatment Magazine

 
Saudi Royal Felled By Opiates, Heir to Throne Asked to Step-Down  E-mail

In an event that reveals how addiction does not discriminate, reaching the highest and lowest rungs of society, the next-in-line to the Saudi throne has been asked to step aside, his judgement apparently clouded by painkiller addiction. read the report

Treatment Magazine


 
Delray Beach Center Deals With Bargain Basement Reimbursement  E-mail

07/19/2017 -ATIN - As commercial health insurers, rightfully or not, use misbehavior and scandal at a few treatment centers to paint all of South Florida with the same brush, bargain basement reimbursements from healthcare payors continue to be widespread. Indicative of how difficult things have become for small relatively marginal providers appears to be the plight of a tiny addiction treatment center in Delray Beach called Recovery Boot Camp.

Despite efforts by its owner Tim Schnellenberger to work with several billing companies to get reimbursements up, getting paid remains a chore, he said. With a monthly cost base of around $150K, he said he bills around $800K a month. But with virtually no clout or leverage with the payors, who are fed up with the primarily spiritual modeled centers that have proliferated, Schnellenberger says he gets paid only between 10 percent and 20 percent of what he bills.

Now that he has a competent billing staffer, talent worth its weight in gold, he says he's hopeful things will get better.

Treatment Magazine


 
New England Agency Stops Referrals to Florida Treatment Centers  E-mail

07/19/2017 - ATIN - A New England police department that has made over 250 out-of-state referrals to addiction treatment centers, 40 percent of which have been to Florida, has stopped the practice, citing publicity regarding fraudulent treatment practices. read the report

Treatment Magazine

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So Fla Non-Profit First Mover Into MAT Sober Living  E-mail

07/19/2017 -ATIN- Fellowship Living, South Florida's largest non-profit sober living community, is beginning specialized services aimed at those in aftercare seeking to participate in medication-assisted therapies like Suboxone, which in particular is almost universally shunned as an inappropriate therapy throughout the region's large sober living housing and aftercare sector.

"Sober living providers don't like Suboxone, but we'll take SAMHSA's and ASAM's word for it any day of the week," says Rick Riccardi, CEO and founder at West Broward-based Fellowship. It has grown swiftly in recent months, expanding to 215 beds gender specific. "Both addiction docs and the federal mental health and addiction agency have for years said loudly that medication-assisted therapies are the gold standard for fighting addiction, particularly the horrific opiate abuse epidemic."

As statistics show, Suboxone MAT therapy is substantially more effective than traditional "talk therapy" addiction care, resulting in outcomes that are approximately 2x to 3x better a year following commencement of treatment. But Riccardi is still not prepared to fully buy into Suboxone maintenance, saying that those who come to Fellowship must have an end date in mind for jumping off buprenorphine, which is the active ingredient in brand-named Suboxone.

In effect, those on MAT at Fellowship will be on a much longer term tapper than the usual 7-30 days offered widely now, although Riccardi says the exact length of the tapper will vary depending on individual needs. They must also fully participate in the "recovery" model at the core of the Fellowship approach, AA meetings etc...

Currently, Fellowship has three apartments earmarked for the new MAT program. But Riccardi expects demand to be robust, in which case he says that at some point the program will be moved to a new, larger self-contained location.

Treatment Magazine

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Vivitrol Sales Soar on Prison and Jails Boom  E-mail

07/18/2017 - ATIN - Sales of the addiction medicated-assisted therapy Vivitrol are skyrocketing on the back of headlines about the opiate epidemic. The boom in the drug, developed by Boston-based Alkermes, comes after sales languished for years following FDA approval of Vivitrol about a decade ago.

Vivitrol is one of just a handful of drugs specifically developed and approved to treat addiction. In the first quarter, net sales of Vivitrol were nearly $59M, soaring 33 percent year-over-year. For the full year 2016, sales jumped 45 percent to nearly $210M. Second quarter numbers should be out shortly. By contrast sales of Suboxone, the top opiate medical treatment, are running a super blockbuster $1.5B a year, more than Viagra.

One area that has had high profile movement on Vivitrol has been within the justice system. Just the latest of dozens of similar developments in jail and prisons nationwide, LA County jail, the nation's second largest, is spending $500K on Vivitrol, which is a monthly injection of the opiate euphoria blocker naltrexone. It retails for $1,000 per injection, although it is likely that public wholesale buyers like jails and prisons may be paying significantly less.

Treatment Magazine

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Former CRC Health Group CEO Joins Cliffside Malibu  E-mail

07/16/2017 - ATIN - Former CRC Health Group CEO Jerry Rhodes has taken a seat on the board of California's Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center, joining his old CRC colleague John Peolquin, who Cliffisde Malibu founder Richard Taite recently persuaded to take the Cliffside CEO post. read the press release

read our story on John Peloquin's ascension to the Cliffside CEO post

Treatment Magazine

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Wall Street Big Backers of New Build Hybrid Psych/Addiction Centers  E-mail
Strategic Behavioral Health, LLC 07/16/1017 -ATIN - Wall Street money is pouring into companies that are engaged in rapid growth of new build, medical modeled hybrid psychiatric and addiction centers. This comes amidst a national addiction crisis driving demand and after years of high powered promotion by SAMHSA of integrated dual diagnosis addiction care. In stark contrast is the progressive financial withering-on-the-vine of vast swaths of the specialty addiction care sector still clinging primarily to 12-step model spiritual-based addiction treatment, with the huge South Florida addiction treatment hub seemingly especially hard hit.

Just last week Strategic Behavioral Health, a fast growing integrated provider based in Memphis, broke ground on a new $12M psych/addiction facility, its ninth new build in just a few years. In the same time frame, global private equity powerhouse Welsh Carson Andersen and Stowe backed Springstone, which has spent $100M building integrated care centers all over the country. And the announcements by regional medical Springstone hospitals on new behavioral health builds are too numerous to mention.

While this boom is occurring, it is draining high quality commercial payor funds flows away from the traditional specialty addiction care sector, which is heavily reliant on spiritual models of care insurers have been fighting reimbursement on for decades. Traditional addiction care providers are also increasingly hobbled by skyrocketing marketing and client acquisition costs. as well as in some cases by a risky lack of payor mix diversification.

Standing out is the formerly vibrant South Florida addiction treatment hub, which until new locally-based competition in recent years accounted for the vast majority of the East Coast's addiction treatment capacity, and met much of the demand. Now even the biggest,at-one-time highly successful addiction centers in South Florida appear to be struggling, with talk of bare bones census and slashed reimbursements as commercial payors key off misbehavior and scandal by a few to signal they are once-and-for-all fed up with non-medical based models.

The upshot is the heyday of the "entrepreneur-in-recovery" - often under-capitalized and sometimes fly-by-night - appears to be over. Cautious, clinical and financial results-oriented big money is taking over, and even they could face rough going in the political risk shark pit that is U.S. healthcare investing.

Treatment Magazine

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Governors Kick Off Summer Meeting With Addiction Crisis  E-mail

07/15/2017 -ATIN- The nation's governors are worried in the extreme about the run-away-train that is addiction in America, kicking off their summer meeting in RI with a penel discussion of sittimg governors. Despite this we heard few new ideas, though all apeared to have moved decisively toward the healthcare solution. They said progress on that front has been severly impacted by the pandemonium that has become our national healthcare policy.

Treatment Magazine

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Delray Beach Cited in Massive Healthcare Fraud Crackdown  E-mail

07/13/2017 - ATIN - Attorney General Sessions this morning announced more than 400 healthcare industry arrests nationwide, specifically citing a Delray Beach case. Delray treatment operator Eric Snyder was arrested Monday and charged, Sessions noted in the press conference today... read the Los Angeles Times take

Treatment Magazine

 
Bloomberg: Huge Justice Dept Treatment Claims Fraud Action Looms  E-mail

07/12/2017 - ATIN- Bloomberg News this afternoon, in an unsourced story, said federal agents will soon fan out to every region of the country, making "hundreds of arrests" throughout the addiction treatment industry involving fraudulent insurance claims. read the report

Treatment Magazine

 
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