Newswires
Caron Board and Managment Focus on Acccessibility  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

08/03/2014 -ATIN - Focusing on its core and key charitable mission, and reacting to the public's growing dismay over the cost of quality addiction care, world famous 12-step treatment modality treatment pioneer Caron has moved to make its renowned high quality addiction treatment more accessible, taking a first step by reducing the cost of its critical East Coast adolescent program, one of the very largest private of such enterprises in the region, by approximately 25 percent.

$16M in Charity Care

Caron has always been highly focused on giving "scholarships," especially to those who live near its Wernersville, PA home base facility which was started some half century ago by the Caron family and under the leadership of Doug Tieman has grown significantly beyond that home base, with very large operations in South Florida and smaller treatment facilities like the one in Dallas, with reagional offices in New York, Philly, Boston, Bermuda and elsewhere.. "In our latest fiscal year, we gave away $16M in charity care," Tieman told Treatment Magazine recently, adding, though, that did not mean its mission of reaching as many people as possible with treatment and recovery from addiction ended there. Tieman said, depending on need and ability, Caron was examining all its myriad programs and facilities to see if there was room to improve access without sacrificing quality.

Accepting Insurance

Also, and it may seem long ago when this battle was being fought in the early to mid 1990s, but Caron made a controversial and hugely risky decision back when managed care was being instituted throughout the medical system on a widespread basis. The Pennsylvania non-profit decided it would have none of the drastic cutbacks that were being demanded by most insurers and went to a private pay only reimbursement model, which to the astonishment of many turned out to be a successful strategy - Treatment Magazine would often be asked by amazed mostly South Florida treatment CEOs how on earth Caron managed to fill so many beds on a cash-pay only basis. The policy not only allowed Caron to maintain its own quality standards but also managed to underwrite strong growth, with Caron more than quintupling its client service revenues during the period to become one of the largest and most powerful treatment centers in the land with income well surpassing the $100M mark in recent years. But times change, and with especially the institution of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all Americans have health insurance, Tieman says that Caron will begin accepting insurance and that policy is well on its way to being instituted at Caron.

Payors Must Start Paying

However, at Caron there is a dedication to delivering quality care and real addiction treatment. And to do that money has to be spent, spent on well-trained medical and clinical personnel, facilities that are well maintained and provide an uplifting environment for the client and on aftercare on the chronic disease model to ensure the client is continually engaged in recovery from addiction... and much, much more. The payors must do their part in stepping up and paying for quality care when they see it. And at Caron, and many other addiction treatment centers,  it is certainly quality care that is being delivered, and money spent by payors at the Caron's of the world will certainly be money well spent ... and, frankly, it's time the payors started paying and stopped cutting treatment to the bone. One percent of total medical expenditure, which is about what it's estimated is spent on treatment, is just too little for a disease that literally causes havoc throughout the entire medical surgical system in terms of it being the ultimate end-of-the-line when it comes to etiology.

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Ted Jackson

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