Running an Addiction Treatment Facility

Addiction treatment is one of the most in-demand areas of practice in the United States, especially during the current opioid epidemic. In 2015, there were 52,404 overdose-related deaths in the United States alone. More than sixty percent of those deaths were related to the use of opioids. The need for addiction treatment facilities is clear, but there are numerous factors involved in starting such a practice.


Dealing with insurance company claims is by far the most complicated aspect of running a drug addiction treatment facility. Most insurance companies impose limitations on what they are willing to cover when it comes to rehabilitation. Outpatient stays are more commonly approved by insurance than inpatient stays, and it is important to have one or more on-site insurance specialists who can help patients work through these claims. Concern about the cost of rehabilitation is one of the primary reasons people wait to seek help for addiction, so having staff members who can skillfully navigate these issues is the key to a successful facility.


As with any medical practice, you are required to become licensed to open an addiction treatment facility. The requirements vary by location, so it is important to make sure to apply for all the necessary credentials before investing financially in this field. Save time and money in the long run by taking care to file all documentation properly in the beginning.


Like any other health care practice, drug treatment facilities should take great care in choosing appropriate team members. The ideal staff members are highly trained in their given fields and motivated to help patients overcome their addiction. When hiring staff members, it is important to consider past experience and the type of organization each applicant worked for previously. The requirements of a position at a smaller rehabilitation center are quite different from those at a larger facility or a major metropolitan hospital. The average center will have executive staff, intake coordinators, medical professionals, case workers, office managers and clerical workers, among others. 

Grant writing is also an important aspect of running a treatment facility. Many organizations choose to hire an in-house grant writer or to assign the work to an employee who has experience securing funding through well-crafted grant proposals. 


While treatment facilities exist to help patients triumph over the obstacle of addiction, there is more to running a successful treatment center than the day-to-day aspect of medical care. Marketing may not seem like a top priority for many facility owners, but it is crucial when it comes to making life-saving treatment resources available to those who need them. From local search marketing to television advertisements, there are a variety of ways to spread the word about your treatment facility. At the bare minimum, each facility needs a professional website where patients and their loved ones can go to learn more about the services offered, pricing, organizational structure and contact information. 

Running an addiction treatment facility is difficult but incredibly rewarding work, and the process is easier once you have a solid plan with which to move forward.