|Gateway Rehab: A Key Retirement|
|Gateway Rehab: A Key Retirement|
|Written by Ted Jackson|
As Ken Ramsey looks to retirement in the middle of next year, he has much to be proud of as he surveys his accomplishments. Over 40 years ago he took charge of the institution founded by the much beloved Dr. Abraham Twerski, scion of a revered rabbinic heritage and among the most famous and pioneering addiction psychiatrists whose practice saw its heyday just as the U.S. treatment industry was taking on its contemporary form.
According to Ramsey, Gateway was in rough shape when he took the helm, with a census of about 100 and barely the means to take care of that. “I was told to give the place its Last Rites and move on,” Ramsey recalls someone saying. “But I thought differerently, and stayed on.” In the ensuing decades Gateway grew considerably beyond the borders of its Pittsburgh native locality, opening many locations throughout Pennsylvania and cutting a key deal that brought expansion into Ohio. Now that Ramsey is set to move on after a lifetime’s work and accomplishment that, when stacked and compared to his contemporaries clearly puts him in the pantheon of key ad- dictions institution builders, a major search is underway for a worthy successor.
Over the years, Gateway Rehab and its other regional addictions center brethren, have emerged as the backbone of the U.S. addiction treatment system. And as treatment’s workhorses - “real” non-proﬁts in the charities sense - these institutions have always had a big challenge on the revenue side. “Getting the funding to meet our missions goals has always been the primary struggle,” says Ramsey, adding that challenges coming from the systemic Obama-care health care reforms will present “an exciting new era with a host of new challenges and opportunities” for Gateway’s new chief.
Gateway Chicago, Operation PAR and hundreds of other centers have, to a greater or lesser degree, scrambled to diversify and achieve a result that Ramsey’s successor will simply inherit. Gateway Rehab has typically, because 75 percent of its 1,700 census population is out-patient, done a lot of in-network insurance business. But Ramsey has also always sought to work with state and county agencies, ﬁnding ways Gateway’s treatment assets could be used to meet their needs. And as other treatment players fall by the wayside, Gateway Rehab has even managed to increase its public funding ﬂows to the point they are now half of revenues, up from about 30 percent historically.
As Ramsey describes the challenges and changes his successor will likely face, he suddenly interjects, insisting almost, that the challenges will be “exciting” and positive as the new CEO seeks to ﬁnd a way to make the Gateway method and way of doing things integrate into the new reality of healthcare reform and the new medical system to emerge as Obamacare becomes reality. But there exists the very real possibility that the Gateway Rehab way of doing things may not survive as the clientele it serves is increasingly pushed into short-term interventions of medical clinics combined with the much less expensive tele-therapy - Internet-based care that is emerging.
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