Home Features Ocean Drive: Caron's Ultra High End Addiction Charity
Ocean Drive: Caron's Ultra High End Addiction Charity
Written by Ted Jackson   
September 2012

On a recent tour  of Ocean Drive, Caron's new ultra high end addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab center, the non-profit's Florida clinical chief Sid Goodman insisted Caron isn't playing the "amenities game." Seeing the incredulous look on the face of a reporter - who had just been treated to an hour's worth of high end clinical and housing sensory overload - Goodman was quick to clarify: "we don't tolerate any of this clients not going to group if they don't feel like it."

Elite Street CredThe Day Lounge for clients at Ocean Drive

Goodman is a legendary clinical hard ass, so if anyone has the moxie to stare down a billionaire, it's probably Sid Goodman. Having sold his Renaissance center to Caron in 2005 for a reputed $5M Goodman drives to work in an Audi R8, which no doubt further increases street cred with Ocean Drive's $120K-for-60-days clientele. Slacking off may not be allowed, but in every other way the center does have amenities galore. As it should be with this kind of rarefied air, stratospheric pricing, Ocean Drive delivers everything, all-the-time at anytime. And Goodman is justifiably proud, as there are few, if any, centers that can match Ocean Drive in today's market, especially as the financial crisis has taken a bit of the shine off the famous Malibu market, where this model of super high-end care was pioneered.

$60K Mo Non-Profit?

On its face, it may seem odd that Caron, a non-profit institution, would be involved at the ultra-high end, a niche of the addictions market traditionally dominated by for-profit names like Passages, Promises and Sierra Tucson, with some Treatment Magazine readers expressing surprise and even bringing up words like "greed." Drill down a little deeper, though, and what is revealed instead is a brilliant strategy fully consistent, and even expansionary, of Caron's charitable mission - not to mention its role in recent years as the cutting edge player amongst its "prestige" non-profit brethren like and Hazelden and Betty Ford.

Why Cede to For-Profits?

Caron exec Andy Rothermel is leading Caron's recent big expansions in South Florida"The Ocean Drive decision was obviously something we carefully considered, from the board level on down," admits Drew Rothermel, Caron's longtime CFO who is now overseeing Caron's massive South Florida ex-pansion in the wake of Ocean Drive and, more importantly in terms of an execution feat, the Hanley Center acquisition and integration. Says CEO Doug Tieman: "In the end, we saw no reason why the non-profits should cede this segment of the market to the for-profits."

Importance of Big Money Network

Why indeed. Especially since there are few addictions players - Promises has a legendary referral capability thru its long list of household name Hollywood alumni - who are networked into the stratospherically wealthy as is Caron. Its board has been peppered with billionaires, as is the donor list and Tieman, going way back to his days as an up ‘n comer at Hazelden, has made a specialty out of prying big checks from those that can afford it. The importance of being able to fill ultra high end beds like those at Ocean Drive - and census has been more than respectable since day one - using a networked alumni/donor/board apparatus cannot be overemphasized from a competitive standpoint.

Google's Tyranny

Ocean Drive Women's residence, just a block away from the beach in Delray BeachTo understand this, one need only look at the role of marketing costs in patient acquisition at places like Passages and others. Most in the treatment industry have noticed the Passages TV ads and know that the $60K-a-month purveyor of the "cure" for addiction is a highly active marketer. But the TV ads may be just the tip of the iceberg. Some big spending - and not just from Passages by any means - can be seen in the free-for-all of Google keyword auctions for sought after phrases like "drug rehab" and the like. One CEO revealed he recently saw in excess of $70 paid per click; a mind boggling price given the average across all categories on Google is less than $1.

"Many Millions More for Charity Care"

The upshot is that we at Treatment Magazine have heard of marketing costs in Malibu as high as 50 percent of revenue. If Caron can avoid The Tyranny of Google and other high marketing costs by relying on its network, it will mean very high Ocean Drive surpluses in good times and great pricing flexibility in the downturns. What Tieman expects is "many millions more to fund our charity care."



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Comments (3)Add Comment
written by Bree Wakefield, May 28, 2015
Great article, thank you so much. www.completehealthcare.us
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written by mahituna, July 28, 2014
great racket, no one even knows the success rates of these places, those that claim to are lying. so wouldn't you love a job that pays well when your contribution cannot be quantified. These places make weathermen look like mathematicians
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written by Jesse, June 08, 2014
It is sort of like Robin Hood of addiction recovery.

I like the idea.

Provide the wealthy that demand more amenities exactly what they want — at the price they expect and are happy to pay — to fund more treatment for those not in good financial shape.
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