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Adolescent Treatment Resurgent
April 2006

In the late 1990s, the family that owned diversified medical and behavioral health services provider College Health Enterprises made a fateful move, resolving that they would sell the youth division of the company. Hindsight is golden, but maybe they would have decided differently had they known that the unit, now known as Aspen Education Group, would become one of nation’s largest and fastest growing private providers of therapeutic services to the country’s growing ranks of troubled teens.

Certainly, Aspen’s investors -Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Sprout Group in 1998 and then Warburg Pincus in 2002- have hit a major home run, being early movers into the now booming marketplace for therapeutic boarding schools and programs.

Hanley Center Takes Flight
April 2006

Several decades ago, Mary Jane Hanley was living in St. Louis as the wife of an ambitious corporate executive who had moved to the city to become CEO of chemicals and agricultural giant Monsanto. It was a different time, one in which young women were expected to support their husbands careers, a role that more often than not required extensive participation at company and executive social events. Mary Jane willingly participated, but it was not easy for her. "There was a lot of entertaining when Jack was moving up the ladder," she said. "I was shy and I found out that a few drinks helped me get through it."

But the problem for Mary Jane, like so many others, eventually became one in which a few drinks just didn't do the trick anymore. "So a few drinks became a few more, and the next thing I knew I was...

Dual Diagnosis Addiction Care
February 2006

It was many years ago that Dr. Morteza Khaleghi had his epiphany about addiction, related as it was to problems his wife's side of the family had with the disease. "Yes, I saw the problems,"said Dr. Khaleghi, whose psychiatric education is rooted in the intensive self-analysis required for training in the psychoanalytic modalities. "But I also saw that recovery was possible, and that had a very profound effect on me." In 1989, Dr. Khaleghi started a psychiatric facility in Northridge, CA, that opened his eyes to the extent that psychiatric ills were accompanied by addiction. By 1998, he had bought a house in Malibu with the intention of treating dually diagnosed patients there. His center, Creative Care, has since emerged as one of the most respected, and fastest growing, for-profit dual diagnosis facilities in the nation.

Addiction Risk Management
January 2006

In the 1970s, David Sterling was studying at the University of Wisconsin and, frankly, at that time was not getting all that serious about his future. But then came a call from home with some news from his father, who had founded an insurance brokerage in New York with his brother as partner decades earlier.

What Sterling learned upon arriving home was that his father wanted to take the firm in a new direction, perhaps taking over the business in its entirety. What the father wanted to know was, would David help him run the company if he bought his brother out? Sterling’s father also made an emotional appeal, telling David that he wanted to pass the firm along to him one day.

“At that point, when I became aware of how my father felt...

Information Technology
Written by Ted Jackson   
January 2006

Dr. David J. Brailer is an excellent speaker, and his depth of knowledge in medical economics and information technology were certainly evident to all who heard him deliver the lead speech last fall at the National Summit on Defining a Strategy for Behavioral Health Information Management in Washington, DC. Hand-picked by President Bush to lead the charge on health care information technology issues as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Brailer spoke eloquently on the urgent need to develop a nationwide electronic health record (EHR) technology, painting a picture of big economic benefits for insurance companies and governments flowing from greater efficiency, as well as major improvements in quality and convenience for consumers.

But insofar as Dr. Brailer's comments were to a large extent exclusively focused on IT in the med/surg context, they fell somewhat short of...

The Challenge of Keeping Care Affordable
Written by Ted Jackson   
October 2005

In 1985, George Joseph was just four years sober and working for a treatment center he greatly admired, Parkside Lodge in Houston. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Parkside Lodge was part of the famous chain of Parkside addiction treatment facilities that was built by Lutheran General Hospital of Chicago in the 1980s. Joseph believed strongly in the mission Lutheran General had undertaken. "Parkside wanted to have a national treatment footprint, with easily identifiable quality standards and prices that were affordable," said Joseph. "Unfortunately, there was a high degree of debt leverage at the company, which made its survival impossible when industry revenues plummeted with managed care."

But many years later, Joseph has not forgotten his Parkside experience. In fact, in some ways, Parkside has provided the model for his own highly successful treatment venture...

CRC Health Corp: On a Rollup
July 2005
July 2005 Although he has been buying addiction treatment centers at a rapid clip, acquiring between one and two facilities on average every two months for the past 10 years, Barry Karlin has gone about his business with little fanfare, with his CRC Health Group going unnoticed by many despite having quickly grown into the nation’s largest treatment provider. But in March, Karlin got everyone's attention when he announced that CRC had entered into an agreement to buy what is probably the most prestigious for-profit treatment center in the country, venerable Sierra Tucson.

CRC moved quickly to get things done. It announced the deal in March and closed just two months later in May, paying $130 million for the privilege of owning the elite institution. For Karlin, Sierra Tucson will act as his marquee property, bringing immense...

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