Competitive Dynamics Shift as Pennsylvania’s ‘Retreat’ Opens in Palm Beach

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
05/01/2014 -ATIN – The Retreat at Lancaster, started a couple of years ago by addictions entrepreneur Peter Schorr, is expanding its private higher end addiction treatment operations from its Northeastern base into the hotbed of competition that has become South Florida’s addiction treatment marketplace, announcing the opening of Retreat at Palm Beach County. An outpatient operation initially, Schorr is making a play with his new Retreat at Palm Beach County at attempting to capture business from the huge local South Florida marketplace while also attempting to offer his clientele graduating from residential at Retreat at Lancaster, Schorr’s hotel conversion property in Pennsylvania, a continuum of care as they “step down” their treatment experiences with Retreat at Palm Beach partnering with local sober living operators to potentially offer a Florida Model experience, according to Executive Director Dr. Deja Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert also told Treatment Magazine that, later this month, ‘Retreat’ would be breaking ground on a 100+ bed new build residential greenfield treatment development in near Western Lake Worth, also located in Palm Beach County.

Competitive Shift…

The opening of Retreat at Palm Beach is in and of itself not a particularly important treatment industry development; although in an emailed statement Schorr did say he plans on growing his Retreat properties “throughout the country,” joining the many other treatment entrepreneurs who these days seem to be hatching ever grander expansion plans. What’s important about Schorr’s Retreat at Palm Beach outpatient move is that it’s illustrative of a key shift in the competitive dynamics of East Coast private treatment over the last five years or so as Malibu style care has moved in from the West Coast, with treatment entrepreneurs like Schorr, Clarity Way’s Justin Daniels and others forming a treatment “hub” in Eastern Pennsylvania and setting themselves up in direct competition with residential powerhouses in South Florida like The Watershed, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, BHOPB, and the Florida House, among many others. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the out-of-network benefits dependent Floridians, who for years have mined the well-insured and unionized Northeast, to compete with the very high quality clinical being offered by guys like Daniels – actually now Elements Behavioral after their recent acquisition of Clarity Way – as well as the key advantage of being located in Pennsylvania, where legislation has for some time put key U/R decisions in the hands of treatment center docs as opposed to insurance company doctor gatekeepers. And now you have these same entrepreneurs, arriving like Schorr just has, right at the very doorsteps of the Florida centers with plans for outpatient and big residential.

Major BHOPB, Florida House Investments…

This new landscape is far more of a competitive threat for the smaller Florida Model treatment players that dot the South Florida addictions landscape than it is for larger players, many of whom have downsizied the Florida Model significantly from their addictions operations mixes. And certainly no one in Florida is taking this new competitive threat sitting down, with BHOPB being just one example, but a particularly good one, of executives and owners 

taking a good look at their operations and making the investments in property as well as clinical detail, not to mention marketing, that are needed to keep their centers on the cutting edge and ahead of the curve. BHOPB has poured millions into transforming and growing, with last year being absolutely key for the center as it opened a $10M hotel conversion property in Western Palm Beach County that is now BHOPB Men’s Rehab, while also at the same time making its Ocean Drive-located, 35-bed super luxury Sea Side Palm Beach into a non-Florida Model, soup-to-nuts fully functioning center that is on a par with any of the top luxury addictions properties anywhere in the nation. And this week, BHOPB hit the airwaves in its now more-than-ever critical New Jersey market with a top flight TV ad campaign. Created for BHOPB by the New Jersey-based Mary Pomerantz agency, which has for many years been close to BHOPB co-founder Jack Coscia, the campaign expertly differentiates and creates a new BHOPB Men’s Rehab brand for Coscia and his right hand top executive, Alan Stevens. And while BHOPB is doing what it takes to stay at the top of its game, Florida House CEO and founder Sherief Abu Moustafa has his eye on the ball in wake of his hard fought NIMBY win last year, allowing him to plan for the expansion and improvement Florida House, the details of which Sherief says he will be announcing soon.

CORRECTION: In our email blast headline to this article Treatment Magazine stated Retreat at Palm Beach would be opening a Florida Model operation. That is incorrect. Retreat at Palm Beach is currently opening an outpatient operation only and, according to Executive Director Dr. Deja Gilbert, will be looking to partner with local sober living services to potentially offer Retreat at Palm Beach clients a Florida Model type experience.

READ our SPECIAL REPORT on BHOPB’s NIMBY Triumph at Sea Side Palm Beach


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