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BHOPB Applies Call Center Expertise in Work With DCF
Written by Ted Jackson   
April 2015

When CEO Alan Stevens was looking for a way for Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, BHOPB, to give back after finding so many years of success, profits and growth in the addiction treatment industry, an opportunity came up through Florida's Department of Children and Families, DCF, to use BHOPB's superior call center technology and personnel training to help DCF in its five county southeast regional district and to improve service performance in the district, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Indian River and Martin Counties.

"It all came about when I was invited to a meeting of the Southeastern Managing Entity about 18 months ago where the managing entities were entrusted with the improvement of the delivery of services to open addiction and mental health services cases then on the DCF case load."

"Frankly, I was Shocked to the Core"

After settling down near the back of the room, Stevens began to listen and Stevens said he was nothing short of shocked at what he heard. "The good thing was that there was no question in my mind that we could help, and not just a little bit around the edges type of help, but the difference between night and day kind of help," Stevens said.

The upshot is that BHOPB has been granted a $100K a year contract to take care of DCF Southeastern region, which clearly is BHOPB giving back to the community. "The contract doesn't even remotely cover our expenses on this, but for our owners, Jack Coscia and Deb Mullaney, (the wife of co-founder with Jack Coscia Don Mullaney) this was a way that we could give back to an industry that has given the founders so much," said Stevens. And  indeed  the industry has given much, with BHOPB growing in the early 1990s from a hole-the wall outpatient operation to its current status as one of the largest and most successful for-profit operations in the nation with over $60M a year now in annual revenues, according to Stevens.

"Despite the fact DCF clients were offered rides and pretty much every possible convenience to make sure they adhered to follow plans for treatment, only 40 percent of DCF clients were completing their care, something DCF was eager to improve substantially. At BHOPB people would be getting fired for such low results and here we are over 90 percent in making sure our clients adhere to their care plans," said Stevens.

Secret Weapon: BHOPB's Elizabeth Potts

Clearly the secret weapon in making this DAF project such a success for BHOPB in recent months is the Palm Beach for-profit's call center  chief Elizabeth Potts. "Our job in taking calls now for DCFs Southeastern region is to help the other treatment centers doing DCF contract work in the region like DAF, Gratitude House, New Horizons and others," says Potts.

Taking the Calls, Following Up

What BHOPB's call center does is take the calls of DCF clients and ask them questions like what their drug of choice is, what possible consequences legal or otherwise have emerged, etc.. "It's known in the treatment industry as conducting a ‘risk assessment,'" Potts told Treatment Magazine. "After the risk assessment is undertaken we consult with our partners in the Southeast region on what the most ppropriate course of action might be for a client, running all the way from inpatient care to outpatient, or it just might be counseling sessions," says Potts, adding that what BHOPB's contribution now is to make sure that care recommendations are being followed up by the clients to the greatest extent possible. And the results have been nothing short of miraculous since BHOPB took over the $100K DCF contract several months ago from DCF to handle to calls and risk assessments for the Southeast DCF region. In essence, BHOPB has turned the stats on their back, flipping them. "We are now getting 90 percent of Southeast DCF region clients to follow through on their treatment recommendations instead of the 40 percent that prevailed earlier," says Potts. Needless to say BHOPB is very proud of the good work they have done in such a short period of time. "Now this is what I call giving back and getting good results," says Stevens. TJ


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