The CEO’s Guide to Successfully Starting a Treatment Center

So, you want to start a recovery and treatment center. Congratulations, you are one step closer to making a huge difference in people’s lives!

But, before you can open the doors to your new treatment center and begin treating people, there are a few crucial aspects of this industry that you need to understand first.

Starting a treatment center is not always going to be an easy journey; but, in the end, it will be a rewarding one. With that being said, the process will be a lot easier if you go into it prepared.

start recovery and treatment center

In this article, you will learn how to properly prepare yourself to successfully start a recovery and treatment center. First, let’s talk about some of the legal requirements you need to be aware of before you get started.

Study Up on Certifications, Forms, and Other Legal Requirements

The very first thing you will have to do to start a rehab is to obtain the right licenses in your state. Therefore, you will need to contact your licensure in your state to find out the specific requirements you need.

While not all states require accreditation and licenses, getting them can help boost your treatment center’s reputation and assure potential persons served that your treatment center reaches high standards.

Another benefit to getting your license is that you can begin billing by units with insurance companies. This will be a huge benefit to your operations in the long run!

Fully Understand Your County’s Zoning Laws

Some other legal requirements to be aware of when starting your own practice are malpractice and professional liability insurance as well as state and zoning laws. If you are new to this process, definitely talk to an experienced consultant in the behavioral health industry early on to make sure you are not overlooking any important laws or regulations.

Pro-tip: The accreditation and licensing process can be long and complicated, so the sooner you apply, the better.

Develop a Solid Mission Statement & Values

In order for your business to succeed, you need to know what your mission is. This mission will ultimately serve to guide you throughout your entire planning process and the overall execution of your treatment center.

Furthermore, a mission statement can help you prioritize the programs you’re offering and any additions you make to your organization. This can also help your employees who will look to these values for guidance in their day-to-day operations.

Not only is your mission statement and values a guiding force for your organization, but they will also set you apart from your competition and draw customers towards you.

Pro-tip: Make sure your mission statement focuses on how you, as a treatment center, will help change the lives of your persons served. The more customer-focused your mission is, the better success you will have uncovering the pain points of your persons served. This, in turn, will lead to the success of your treatment center!

Hire the Right Employees

Pay attention to this! This next point is extremely important when starting a treatment center.

Choosing the right staff for your treatment center plays a large role in the success or failure of your organization. Here’s why.

Your employees are responsible for the day-to-day workings of your treatment center, as well as providing the proper care to your persons served. So, who should you hire to make your organization thrive?

Who You Should Hire

When hiring staff, you need to consider more than just costs like salaries, taxes, and benefits.

Not only do you have to spend the time to find and hire talented staff, but you will also want to develop training programs to help them continuously improve and provide support.

With that being said, staff you should consider hiring include:

  • Psychologists
  • Addiction specialists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Technicians
  • Counselors
  • Receptionists
  • Office administrators

With the right, well-trained employees on your side, your organization will run smoothly and lead to better persons served care.

Put Your Best Foot Forward with Marketing

While many business owners tend to overlook this aspect of their business, marketing is a crucial step to get people in the door – both persons served and employees.

For instance, one of the first things you should work on is your website. This is where your persons served will learn about your service, read your content, and get more information. You want your website to be easy to navigate and provide a good user experience (UX).

start recovery and treatment center

Other important marketing tools to consider include:

  • Social Media
  • Google Ads
  • Business Cards
  • Content

Pro-tip: You want your marketing to convey your mission statement and values. It’s important to show your audience how your treatment center can benefit them!

Consider Your Insurance Options

There are two types of insurance you need to think about when it comes to starting a rehab facility:

  • The main business insurance for your practice
  • The type of insurance(s) you will accept from your persons served

Keep reading to learn more about these insurances.

Business Insurance

As mentioned before, there are a lot of legal requirements involved in opening a behavioral health treatment center. For starters, business insurance is an important requirement when you want to open any type of business, especially one that performs medical treatment and involves a lot of liability and risk!

Types of business insurance include:

  • Liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Employee insurance
  • Malpractice insurance

These insurances will cover you in case your organization experiences any problems that arise, so your business is not affected financially.

Insurance Panels

Here’s a fact: When you are able to accept a wide range of insurances from your persons served, it makes therapy from your organization much more accessible to those who are seeking treatment.

With that being said, you will love to hear this: If you choose to join an insurance provider panel, you could get paid directly from insurers as well as become a part of a network where you can get persons served referrals.

In order to join an insurance company and be credentialed, you need to submit a Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) application.

Know the Cost of Starting & Succeeding

The most important factor to consider is the cost of opening up your treatment center. If you plan your budget and know exactly how much you will need to set aside for operating costs, then starting a treatment center from the ground up will be a lot more straightforward, organized, and successful.

Furthermore, you want to make sure you have enough capital saved up to keep your business afloat in its infancy until you have enough persons served to keep it running smoothly in the long run.

start recovery and treatment center

Important Expenses You Should Budget For

Costs you should consider before you open include:

  • Renting, building, or buying a space
  • Paying employees
  • Certifications
  • Marketing
  • Equipment
  • Legal expenses
  • Utilities

Pro-tip: You will want to consider budgeting for the one-time costs of starting the treatment center as well as operational costs to keep it running for the first year or so. Another variable to take into account includes how much you will need to earn each year to make up for the costs of running your treatment center and make a profit.

Get Expert Industry Guidance from C4 Consulting

In order to be sure you have all of your bases covered when starting your behavioral health recovery and treatment center, it’s important to talk to someone who has experience in the industry.

C4 Consulting is one of the nation’s leading experts in the planning, development, and expansion of behavioral healthcare and addictions treatment programs. Our team members have worked with and launched many start-ups and can help you navigate your way around the most common pitfalls for start-ups in the behavioral healthcare industry.

Contact us to learn how we can help you successfully start your recovery and treatment center.

Future Considerations

  1. Know Your Audience: Selecting your service population is a critical step that needs to be clear, concise, and measured carefully. This ensures in the earliest stages that feasibility studies inform choosing the right level of care as the starting point for long-term growth, success, and intended impact. A good idea becomes great with clarity and precision in determining who the treatment center will serve, and that is the best level of care to explore from the very beginning. Residential Treatment may or may not be the best place to begin.
  2. “Culture eats strategy for lunch” Peter Drucker quote: Since treatment is produced by people for people, culture is everything in treatment. Ensuring your organization begins with a clear foundation for a healthy culture as the grounding principle for strategic planning is the best approach, not the other way around. Clearly defining culture, in the beginning, isn’t just an idea, it is a crucial step that is too often relegated to leadership tasks long after the fundamental strategy has been decided.
  3. Staff Recruiting Post-Pandemic: Sourcing staff may be the greatest challenge. Being clear about the benefits of your organization must include more than compensation packages. What else does your organization provide to engage new employees?
  4. Marketing Advances: If you’ve taken the time to ensure you understand your audience, knowing what marketing they respond to is key. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on digital marketing, but will the message reach your audience in a way that will inform their choice for care? Launching a successful marketing campaign requires well-informed and thoughtful strategic planning, and timing is everything in the digital age.