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Gateway Rehab Names Regional Med Surg Exec as CEO  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

09/19/2013 -ATIN - Just as Hazelden has done, Pennsylvania and Ohio addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab powerhouse Gateway Rehab, after an extensive months-long search, has named a top health care executive from the medical surgical side to succeed the renowned Ken Ramsey as CEO. One of the 50 largest addiction treatment enterprises in the nation, non-profit Gateway Rehab will move into a brave new Obamacare world under the stewardship of Paul Bacharach, who comes to Gateway after running a small Pennsylvania medical surgical health system in much the same way that Hazelden CEO Mark Mishek also was formerly a top regional med surg executive. There has been somewhat of a trend in the past ten years for the charismatic addiction industry institution founders to begin retiring and in the process handing off leadership to professional management cadres, guys who are not necessarily in recovery themselves. A retail industry turnaround specialist previously, Howard Meitner took over leadership at the huge multi-state addictions behemoth Phoenix House from its founding CEO, a process that by all accounts has been a remarkably smooth transition with Meitner widely admired inside the institution he now leads, as well as amongst other treatment executives.

Ken Ramsey Legacy

There should be little expectation that the transition at the top of Gateway Rehab, whose earliest roots are in Pittsburgh but whose service reach now extends to 20 locations, both residential and outpatient, should be any less smooth than the recently well executed transitions at Phoenix House and Hazelden.  Gateway Rehab's major focus in recent times has been on delivering and expanding services to difficult-to-treat youth, opening a big new center in Ohio for this purpose. (see pic left) In extensive discussions late last year with Treatment Magazine, Ken Ramsey (pic below) laid out a vision of a methodical highly planned transition, with an extensive CEO search and strong period of initial collaboration between Ramsey and Bacharach to ensure continued smooth operations during the leadership transition. Certainly Ramsey will be handing over one of the strongest and most diversified centers in the nation, one that weathered the state budget woes of the recent financial crisis far better than most addiction treatment centers that get a lot of state funding. In fact, Ramsey is handing over an addiction center that is one of the few that has a very strong diverse "triple play" payor mix - cash-pay, commercial pay and government pay. And although Ramsey is clear that Gateway Rehab is "not big on the amenities" side of things, Gateway does deliver a small but respectable chuck of revenues from cash private pay with a very large diversity of commercial and government payors.

Treatment's Orphan Status

One of Obamacare's stated aims is to rid the addiction treatment industry of its "orphan" status within the healthcare system and to begin doing away with managed-care type carve outs - after years-old, much heralded but so far results disappointing federal so-called "parity" legislation - while promoting eventual full integration of addictions care into the gargantuan and grossly inefficient U.S. medical surgical care system. Indeed the purpose of such med surg/addictions integration would be to promote greater overall systemic efficiency, with the recognition that catching addiction problems early could save huge money due to addiction's role as by far the leading etiological factor in death and disease. From his new perch atop one of the greatest addiction care institutions in the nation, and with his experience running hospitals and as a former leader in key hospital associations, there is every reason to believe that Bacharach may emerge as a top player in the med surg/addictions integration efforts in years to come.

read our Dec 2012 Special Report on Gateway Rehab

read our Special Report on key leadership transitions

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Ted Jackson

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President and CEO
written by Rick Pine, September 19, 2013
Best of luck to Mr. Paul Bacharach, who I am sure is highly qualified, and will do a great job at Gateway. But he has HUGE shoes to fill, as Ken has left an indelible mark on not just Gateway, but on the treatment community as a whole. And one of the nicest, classiest guys around, too!
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