I think the best way we protect our clients is by personally checking out the facilities and making sure they have the same values we do. I know as an interventionist with Compassionate Interventions, I have often checked a place out prior to using them. A couple times I flew in and checked it out on my own dime, instead of attending on a professionals weekend. Sure, it cost some money, but getting the one on one attention as a visiting professional allowed me to see things and participate in programming that I wouldn’t have been allowed to do with a group of professionals.
Secondly, as an owner of a transitional living program (structured and supervised sober living with outpatient therapy), called “Oregon Trail Recovery,” I try to work with programs that prepare clients for long term recovery by treating them, not warehousing them. I think practitioners need to look for sober living or transitional living who do what they say they’re going to do. No matter if I am providing transitional living, or intervening and transporting somebody to residential, I am always trying to work with people who do the right thing for the right reason.
The UA issue is one that interests me. I admit, we have UA’d clients three and four times a week on occasion. I have never billed for more than twice. When I do UAs more than twice a week, it’s for clinical reasons, not financial. Therefore, I have no reason to bill more. It’s the same reason why I always have a couple scholarship beds. Being in recovery myself, I have seen people do some amazing things, and sometimes they need a little hand up to accomplish those things.
I appreciate this topic. I first read it when I woke up and thought about it as I was getting my first cup of morning coffee. These are the kinds of discussions we need to have to make sure we are tightening up our programs to be the best clinical programs they can be. Sure, we need to keep the lights on and the doors open, but I’ve already proven to myself that I can do that, provide great services, consistent outings, and a safe environment without gouging the insurance companies.