Key Florida House NIMBY Win, Gets 60-Bed Detox Approval

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
08/22/2013 –ATIN – One of South Florida’s largest addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab centers jumped a key NIMBY hurdle Tuesday night, getting approval for a huge expansion that when complete will make the rapidly expanding for-profit an even more formidable competitor in what is already one of the most hotly contested and fought after addiction treatment “hub” marketplaces in the nation. Florida House got approval from Deerfield Beach officials for 60 additional beds at the highest medical intensity detox level, which when added to the center’s already existing operations would bring Florida House past 250 beds of various levels of care on a highly unique multi-acre property that straddles main drag US HWY 1.

Buying Binge

Florida House CEO and founder Sherief Abu Moustafa has been on a highly aggressive buying binge of real estate surrounding the original 3-4 acre site, which operated for years as a large sober living operation until about 7-yrs ago when Sherief began to move toward building the highly varied addiction treatment operation that exists today. That operation can only be described as one of the premier, privately operated integrated treatment and sober living operations in the nation, with the open-to-the-public JoJo’s restaurant, hundreds of licensed treatment beds clustered around two large former apartment complexes with their own pools and a number of homes in surrounding blocks that function as highly structured transitional living and all supported by a gym/wellness center converted, ironically, from its former use as a notorious pill mill operation. Earlier this year, a landmark moment came when Florida House opened a luxury 26-bed detox operation, no longer needing to farm out that highest dollar reimbursement part of acute addictions medical intervention. The new detox is directly across the street from the original Florida House site on the east side of US HWY 1.

Big Detox Expansion

The new 60 beds are planned for a site, a former high-end restaurant on a 1-2 acre property, directly next door to the north of the new detox. According to published reports, Sherief agreed to restrictions on future expansion as part of the Tuesday night deal, though we were unable to confirm the exact legally binding nature of the expansion limit agreement.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the key South Florida “destination” addiction treatment market, whose capacity indeed services a large part of private addiction demand for the whole East Coast of the United States, is becoming increasingly dominated by what Treatment Magazine dubbed in its July print issue as the South Florida Big Four, The Florida House, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, BHOPB, The Watershed and cash pay powerhouse, and the only non-profit in the group, venerable Caron. Except for Caron, and starting with the Watershed’s pioneering $16M new campus build almost a decade ago, all of these players have virtually entirely jettisoned Florida Model partial hospitalization capacity and have aggressively moved up the utilization review food chain with solid “medical necessity” detox, inpatient and residential licensures dominating. (Caron did acquire a lot of this type capacity with the big Hanley Center purchase almost two years ago.) Most vulnerable are the hundreds of mostly tiny Florida Model operations that continue to dot the South Florida treatment landscape, which are open to continuing soaring patient acquisition expense – the tyranny of Google – while progressively squeezed as third-party payors close an easy money gambit whereby providers were making lots of money off urine testing.

CLARIFICATION: In a previous edition of this article, reporter misinterpretations of conversations with the Florida House CEO were contained with regard to what Treatment Magazine thought were plans for expansion but in fact were not plans at all. The only planned expansion currently at Florida House is for the 60 beds approved at the city commission discussed in the above article.


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