Our Perspective on the Closure of Youth Residential Program
After 31 years, CenterPointe has been forced to close our Youth Residential Treatment program. Changes in Medicaid funding necessitate the closing, which will occur October 29, 2010.
The program was an effective treatment option for families and kids who needed a comprehensive, integrated approach to recovery from substance use and mental health problems.
We believe that the right treatment at the right time and for the right amount of time is essential to achieving lasting recovery.
All the youth referred to CenterPointe’s community-based residential program had mental health and substance problems. Most had issues of traumatic childhood experiences which take time and a safe place to work through therapeutically.
The average length of stay in the youth residential program is 4 months, a shorter stay than most residential programs of this type in the state.
We continue to believe this level of care is essential for some youth and contributes to a full continuum to meet the variety of issues for youth who need services.
Despite this, the State has been slowly eliminating residential care as it is a more expensive level of care than outpatient services.
Now, the federal Medicaid office is reported to have told the State they will not pay for the residential services Nebraska offers. So a new type of residential service is being implemented in Nebraska.
This new level of care is very expensive and amounts to a sub-acute hospitalization. It is likely that the only residential services offered in the future will be in conjunction with a hospital willing to take this on.
We don’t believe that someone who can benefit from outpatient services should be in residential services. But we also know that outpatient services are not enough for the needs of some people, youth or adults.
Our system should first design the continuum that will help people get better as soon as possible. Ultimately, this is the least costly way to deliver services.
Seeing youth who haven’t had success at lower levels of care, then become adults in services is a tragedy. It is costly and unnecessary in many cases.
Again, we need to deliver the right service at the right time, for the right length of time.
CenterPointe has always used evidenced-based practices. In 2009 we were awarded the SAMSHA Science and Service award for excellence in delivering co-occurring treatment programs. We were 1 of only 9 programs recognized across the nation.
We constantly evaluate all of our programs for effectiveness, efficiency, access to services, and satisfaction. You can read our most recently published data here. This data includes information specific to this program.
Most of the 7 youth currently participating in the Youth Residential Treatment program are ready to graduate from the program in the coming weeks.
If any youth continue to need services at our closing; they will be referred to appropriate resources to continue the care they need.
We still provide outpatient and intensive outpatient services for youth. We are also exploring additional ways to serve youth with substance use and mental health problems.
Thank you for your support of all our programs. Together we will continue our work to help people with substance use and mental health problems live healthier, more productive lives.
For more information please contact us.