It is a very interesting and volatile time in the addiction treatment field. There have been many programs that have gone out of business recently, and there is a considerable amount of activity in the areas of investments, mergers and acquisitions as well. Most insurance companies continue to clamp down on the industry by trying to force everyone to go in network with them to negotiate lower rates, while at the same time cutting the number of treatment days approved, especially for residential programs.

Due to more people being forced to step down into lower levels of care faster, those that provide intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) are among the most secure business models in the industry today. There is actually some great evidence that longer-term engagement through outpatient services can be just as effective, or more, than residential care. However, there are other things that were previously done in the past that are simply not viable for most programs anymore, such as paying for sober living/housing out of insurance reimbursements. It is not a sustainable practice without some way to supplement that through private payments, and due to implementation of patient brokering laws and the crackdown on lab schemes, those are also out of the question.

While we have seen more residential facilities start to open their own PHP/IOP programs, many have had difficulty making their IOPs viable outside of their own clients stepping down. Many have wondered how to make their outpatient programs viable as stand-alone services as well.

Other difficulties have also been imposed on treatment programs and their marketing practices. For example, Google and Facebook forcing LegitScript verification in order to run paid ads, and even disallowing business development staff to be paid commissions based on the number of admissions they enroll for their company.

How Can IOPs be Successful?

Navigating all of these pitfalls can be difficult, to say the least. However, in addition to helping residential treatment programs and large network admissions teams, we have also worked extensively with IOPs and now how to help make them successful.

If you have an IOP and are struggling a bit, or looking for someone to help improve your situation that is stagnant, we can assist you in this process. We can help you develop and execute a plan that sets you apart from your local “competition” by identifying key marketing opportunities, improving your enrollment conversions, developing better relationships referral sources and creating a bigger impact locally. All of these, and more, will help to not only stabilize your program, but put you in an opportunity for growth as well.

If you’re looking to open or start a new program, there are additional items that need to be addressed as part of your overall business plan, and having the right plan in place can help ensure a launch that is as smooth as possible.

Contact us today for more information on our consulting services for IOPs and other levels of care.