Famed Addiction Center Betty Ford Struggles to Fill Beds

There has been persistent talk about persistent low census at Betty Ford, even talk that at one point recently the census had reached a record low. Normally quite irascible in his response to questions from Treatment Magazine – we’re told that’s also an apt general description of Betty Ford’s long time CEO – we were surprised this time to get detailed, measured responses from John Schwarzlose. (In answer to questions about succession planning at BFC, Schwarzlose once offered up an inexplicable three word response: “What a Sleaze!”, thereby cementing a reputation for being irascible for irascibility’s sake.)

Betty Ford “has not experienced a record low,” census, Schwarzlose told Treatment Magazine, avoiding our question about whether low points, not necessarily record lows, had been reached in the recent past. But Schwarzlose did provide information that may indicate demand for Betty Ford’s 184 beds may not be what it used to be, perhaps forcing management at the storied non-profit to slash prices in order to fill beds. From a mission fulfillment standpoint, the results are likely to be outstanding as BFC has encouraged 90 day stay lengths – thus almost guaranteeing soaring outcomes – by offering a huge 60 percent discount off the 30-day list price, or $42K for 90 days. And now 40 percent of all BFC clients are 90 day.stays, according to Schwarzlose.

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