|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|04/17/2012 -ATIN- The Right Step, the Southwest’s largest addiction treatment center, drug rehab and alcohol rehab operator, is planning a major expansion at its recently acquired San Cristobal youth center located near Taos, NM. “We can expand to 80 beds and will be at least at 50 by the end of the year,” says TRS CEO and founder George Joseph, adding that an investment of at least $1M will be made expanding and improving the facility, which is currently at 30 beds. TRS acquired the center earlier this year from founder Dave Johnson, who has moved into TRS’s senior executive ranks, in a situation where Joseph paid off a seven figure discounted note. San Cristobal, which serves young men 18-26, is not by any means the only youth therapeutic services operator to run into financial difficulties in recent years. By far the fastest growing sector in private psychiatric care from the 1990s thru the housing crisis, the sector growth bubble burst and facilities have closed by the hundreds coast-to-coast. Dependent on parents’ ability to come up with large cash-pay tuitions, the therapeutic schools industry saw its revenue base dry up as housing busts cut into family wealth. TRS will be leveraging its deep expertise with commercial payors, Joseph is a well known industry pioneer in prying addiction insurance dollars lose, to bring additional payor streams other than cash-pay into the new San Cristobal asset. “We have the utilization review know- how to push through the insurance approvals for this,” says Joseph. If he proves successful at opening third party payors into the traditionally all cash-pay therapeutic schools arena, other addiction players with similar commercial payor links might be tempted to do deals, scooping up cheap, distressed therapeutic schools assets that are available throughout the nation. For TRS, which got its start as an affordable player and is still a major player at that price point, San Cristobal will fill a higher end gap, providing services to youths while the Austin area Sprit Lodge serves adults.
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