What Treatment Coordination and Advocacy Suggests you
Ask When Choosing a Treatment Center

Choosing a treatment center can be an overwhelming and confusing process for anyone, let alone someone who is scared, anxious and may be seeking treatment for the first time. This is one reason why Treatment Coordination and Advocacy offers a treatment placement service in which we serve as the Treatment Coordinator for clients and their families, taking the leg work and as much stress away from the client’s and their families as possible.

The following is a list of questions I ask when interviewing treatment centers and choosing a treatment program for my clients, please feel free to share:

(Becca these should all be bullets)
What is the total cost including all ancillary charges such as medications, psychiatric visits, room and board, transportation, family programs and psychological testing, massage, acupuncture, detox, family program? Will the client be facing a lot of unanticipated fees?

What is your refund policy?

Do you take insurance as a form of payment? If not, but you help seek reimbursement, is your UR department very aggressive in that area?

How many clients can you accommodate at one time, what is your current census and what are the current ages of your clients?

What does your pre-admission screening consist of and how will I know if my client is a good fit for your program?

What is the client to staff ratio?

How many hours of individual therapy or counseling do clients receive each week?

How many hours of group psychotherapy (groups led by doctors, therapists or credentialed drug and alcohol counselors) do clients receive each week?

How many hours of additional therapeutic activities do the clients receive each week (recreational outings, yoga, meditation, 12-step, exercise)?

What is the therapeutic orientation or philosophy of your program?

What therapeutic modalities are available to your clients (DBT, Motivational Interviewing, art therapy, psychodrama, Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, spirituality, 12-steps, etc.)?

What are some of the topics/issues addressed in the psychotherapy groups and what are the credentials of the staff who lead them?

What are the qualifications and training of your clinicians, psych techs or milieu counselors?

How soon after admission do clients see the psychiatrist and how often are they seen for follow up appointments? If this is an addictions program, is your psychiatrist and Medical Director and addictionologist?

How do meals work? Can you accommodate special diets?

How many clients per room?

Is there 24 hour staff supervision?

What is the minimum, average and maximum length of stay?

Are 12-step meetings required? If so how many per week and are clients required to get a temporary sponsor?

How is your program licensed or accredited? (ie: as a residential treatment center, substance abuse treatment center, psychiatric hospital etc.)

Can my client talk with an alumni client?

Of course there are many other possible questions but these are good to start with. I encourage my clients to ask each program the same questions so they can truly compare apples to apples. Proceed with caution if the intake specialist is unable to answer these questions specifically or unwilling to direct you to someone who can. I am also cautious about programs that do not offer a preliminary pre-admission assessment that looks at dual diagnosis issues and acuity.

If you have a client who is in need of residential treatment and you would like help in finding the best treatment center for their needs from clinical, personality, geographical and financial standpoints, consider referring them to Treatment Coordination and Advocacy. We work collaboratively with referents to offer the most seamless process possible.

Author's Bio: 

Amy Lashway, MA, LPC, NCC is the founder of Treatment Coordination and Advocacy, a
treatment placement service specializing in matching the right treatment center
with the individual needs of each client. As a clinician, Amy works with PTSD, affective
disorders, chemical dependency, sex addiction, personality disorders, chronic mental
illness and complex, dually diagnosed clients. Amy is also the Co-Founder of Treatment
Consultants, a company that offers an array of services such as remote intake, executive
recruiting, start up programming, quality assurance, business development and staff
training to behavioral health programs around the country. With over 20 years in the field of
addictions and mental health, Amy has expertise all facets of residential treatment programs
including: intake and admissions, clinical, administration, program enhancement and
business development, budgeting, staff training and supervision.