With more and more addiction and mental health treatment centers pouring into the recovery industry, many of which will most likely not be in existence 3 years from now, understanding what it takes to be successful in the recovery industry is more important than ever. With addiction treatment centers, mental health facilities, and drug rehabs coming in all different shapes and sizes, offering treatment programs based on 12 Step, Biophysical, Dual Diagnosis, and Holistic approaches, there still exists common fundamental business components that are critical to running a successful recovery operation.
Success Component #1: Marketing Rules The Universe
No matter what lifecycle stage a recovery operation is in from startup through full maturation, driving admissions with lead generation built on both an integrated marketing platform and third party lead generators, is a must if the recovery operation wants stable consistent revenue. Implementing and maintaining such lead generation systems, requiring committing skill and resources to achieving a successful outcome, should be a top priority because without such a system, recovery centers are at extreme risk of discontinuing operations.
Success Component #2: Sales Makes The World Go Around
Generating addiction leads or mental health leads is meaningless without an effective highly trained admissions team. As critical as marketing, the deployment of a high performance admissions department that understands how to work with media leads is just as paramount. Effective call handling and follow up procedures is absolutely vital to ensuring an acceptable cost per acquisition. Recovery operations that will thrive over the next 5 years will be the ones who understand and deploy high performance sales and admissions teams.
Success Component #3: Outreach, For Stable And Consistent Growth
Traditional outreach is going the way of the dinosaur. The days of slapping together an outreach team and sending them out without a plan is over. Outreach must now be strategically structured, designed, and implemented to compete in today’s recovery industry. National and regional data modeling must drive a successful outreach strategy. Addiction, rehab, and mental health treatment centers who understand how critical their outreach is to the survival of their recovery operation and apply such advanced modeling will still be standing long after their heedless competitors are pushed out of the industry.
Success Component #4: Managing Daily With Technology For The Win
Control and management must be supported by robust technology support platforms such as Call Management Systems (CMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Bed Management Systems (BMS), Patient Management Systems, and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. These technology platforms provide addiction treatment centers and mental health treatment facilities with the capability of managing their operations daily. Without these systems in place, recovery operations might as well be driving in the dark without headlights because the wild west days of winging it are over, as the recovery industry matures and the weak are culled out from the herd.
Success Component #5: Show Me The Money With UR & Insurance Billing
One of most underestimated undervalued business components within an addiction and mental health treatment center operation is utilization review and insurance billing. To start with, if a recovery operation is not leveraging patient HMO and PPO insurance programs the journey to success will most certainly be fraught with peril for private pays are usually exclusive to very high-end treatment centers. Secondly, those treatment centers who do accept HMO and PPO insurance must be extremely proficient in the areas of utilization review, charting, medical necessity, and insurance billing in order to combat the aggressive tightening of qualifying criteria brought on by insurance companies being squeezed by Obamacare insurance mandates. Without these departments efficiently managing these critical processes, a recovery operation could simply go broke chasing obstinate insurance companies. Successful addiction treatment centers and mental health treatment facilities will make sure that utilization review and insurance billing with be expertly managed.
Success Component #6: You’re Only As Good As Your Weakest Link
Online reviews can make or break you and bad reviews can cost you dearly. With the advent of review sites like Yelp and Google, as well as others, bad reviews can kill lots of admits. Simply stated, recovery operations are only as good as the box being shipped out the warehouse door or in other words, the points of contact made within the treatment center as the patient goes through the addiction or mental treatment program. Many Online Reputation Management (ORM) firms are working overtime because treatment center operations and clinical departments are miss-managing the family and patient treatment experience. Low paid house managers, and councilors are a common point of patient dissatisfaction that can cause a myriad of complaints. Now, given the type of industry where the majority clientele are consumed with unhappiness and dissatisfaction, avoiding bad reviews is obviously a challenge. However, successful recovery operations can mitigate bad reviews with strong leadership, accountability, protocols, and review systems that can substantial reduce dissatisfaction. In the new era of addiction and mental health gold rush, every admit counts and only the strong will survive.
As of 2015, spending within the combined value of both addiction and mental health industries, currently exceeds $200 billion, with substance abuse exceeding $35 billion. And, there are now 14,000 plus addiction treatment centers in the market today. Now $35 billion might seem substantial but divide that by 14,000 addiction treatment centers and you get $250,000 for each center. Not enough to wet your whistle let alone your pocket book. What does this mean? Even with the advent of Obamacare insurance mandates, and pot full of gold, there are so many new treatment center operations entering the addiction and mental health industry that recovery operations today must run their business efficiently or face extinction.
Blog Writer: Anthony D. Wolf