Newswires
New Hampshire in Innovative Public/Private Addictions Partnership  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

03/10/2015 -ATIN - In an outstanding example of private/public partnership, the state of New Hampshire is moving to vastly increase the availability and access to addiction treatment services. The major private part is the funding of a job the duties of which is to call to attention the seriousness of the addiction problem in the state and marshal all available resources in the fight to bring addiction more under control. Funding the new state "Drug Czar" position is the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, according to published reports, and filling the position is a guy named Jack Wozmack, who has a long history in behavioral health and addictions provider care having spent nearly a decade running the Beech Hill center in Dublin, NH after which he became the Cheshire County manager and administrator. Wozmack was appointed to the quasi-governmental newly created New Hampshire job by the state Gov. Maggie Hassan early this year.

Massive Decline in the Facilities Available for Care

Since the 1980s, when private insurers were much more generous in their granting of care upon utilization review and not just in New Hampshire but all over the country, there has been an approximate 90 percent decline in number of private beds available for addiction treatment on any level of care in New Hampshire, to 60 beds from over 600 beds, according to published reports. It's refreshing to hear Mr. Wozmack call it like it is when he tells local reporters that in New Hampshire it has become primarily a matter of increased funding for addiction treatment in the state more than anything else.

The Public Part of the Equation

In the public/private partnership developing in New Hampshire, one that it seems to us here at Treatment Magazine might just be imitated in other smaller states throughout the union to positive effect, the public part comes from a proposed tripling of state spending on addictions care on all levels from just a little shy of $3M in the 2-yr budget cycle encompassing 2014/2015 to slightly more than $9.6M for the period 2016/17, according to parts of the budget released in published reports.

Not All States Can Afford Addictions Spending Increases

An example of a state in financial turmoil and thus unable to boost spending by much, if any, is the great state of Illinois, which in its heavily populated north is home to the nation's thrid largest metro area Chicago and where downstate in the capital of Springfield a new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to balance the budget with no tax increases. The state's biggest addictions care providers, including prominently Gateway Chicago. have already moved mostly towards a business model ln which there are far far less grant dollars coming in the door from Springfield, with a major investment banker Raymond James led strategic plan being implemented as long time CEO and institution builder Michael Darcy retires around the new fiscal period mid-year. The new governor wants to find ways, and has appointed a commission to make recommendations toward this end, to reduce the prison population in Illinois by 25 percent in less than 10 years.

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Ted Jackson

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