In-Depth: What Is Concierge Behavioral Healthcare?
What Is Concierge Behavioral Healthcare and Why Is It Critically Important To Our Communities?
ORENDA at Futures Recovery Healthcare embraces the complexity of addiction, co-occurring mental health, and primary mental health conditions to empower recovery and improve outcomes through evidence-based practice, coordinated care, and mission-driven culture. Futures Recovery Healthcare is a licensed behavioral healthcare organization accredited by The Joint Commission located in Tequesta, Florida. Futures operates evidence-based, holistic dual-diagnosis treatment programs that emphasize individualized approaches to recovery. Please contact a member of our admissions team at (866) 897-5701 or visit us online to request information or make a referral.
The concierge medicine philosophy is especially efficacious when applied to the treatment of behavioral health conditions.
Patients presenting with substance use and mental health disorders can be complex cases. Achieving good long-term outcomes for these biopsychosocial conditions often requires the coordination of somatic, psychological, and extra-therapeutic interventions. Patients must be helped to become stable, address underlying factors, develop the ability to manage their chronic conditions, and maintain recovery through ongoing treatment, use of individual or group supports, wellness services, and self-care. Many patients will need to alter their home, family, and work situations to support physical and mental health and recovery. Family members, loved ones, and friends are often involved in the treatment process and taught to be advocates and supporters for patients and identify relapse risks and reduce enabling behaviors. Clearly, the time and expertise needed to thoroughly ascertain a client’s comprehensive health status, worldview, and experiences and develop and initiate a personalized treatment plan that addresses every aspect of life are significant. The multivariate nature of these conditions also demands an exceptionally high level of treatment integration and intensity.
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While the benefits of individualized approaches to behavioral healthcare are widely known, patients and referring professionals face a severe shortage of qualified providers despite the intense need for their services. Throughout the country, there is a shortage of behavioral health treatment programs across all levels of care that are able to provide a truly holistic care. Psychiatrists, psychologists, APRNs, social workers, case managers, and other specialized providers are stretched thin, and fewer students choose to enter these professions. Many treatment provider organizations are also limited by commercial insurance guidelines and are unable to provide the clinically indicated range of services.
To meet the need for truly holistic and individualized care, some treatment providers take a concierge approach that prioritizes clinical efficacy and personalization. These programs give clients the time and specialized services needed to maximize the value of their treatment stay, establish a strong foundation in recovery, and develop a network of ongoing aftercare providers. Because most of these programs are direct-pay models or partially utilize insurance, they can deliver more services, tailor treatment to individual needs, and extend treatment durations based on client progress.
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These programs typically treat a smaller number of clients, maintain high staff-to-client ratios, offer a broader range of treatment options, and employ seasoned therapists. Many offer extensive screening and assessment services, including genomic, neuropsychological, nutritional, and physiological testing. To treat more conditions and address aggravating issues like chronic pain, they integrate specialized wellness services including physical therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, massage, and neurorestorative care. Client treatment schedules are flexible and incorporate client-specific needs, including outside medical or specialty service appointments, personalized fitness routines, necessary business communications, experiential therapies, and immersive excursions to increase convenience and engagement.
Family programming, which can play a vital role in improving treatment outcomes for many patients, is another area in which concierge-style dual-diagnosis treatment programs offer advantages. Determining whether patient family members are supporters of good health and recovery or sources of stress or trauma is crucial to long-term treatment success. Assessing and addressing the dynamics of parent-child, sibling, marital, and other family relations and establishing trust and openness between clients, family members, and therapists often require considerable time. While many behavioral healthcare programs offer a limited amount of family programming, most only provide psychoeducation to family members, which teaches them how to support their loved ones’ recovery. Concierge-oriented treatment programs often offer much more family programming, which sometimes includes individual therapy for family members and joint therapy sessions with clients and family members. Providing direct care to family members and making them a part of client therapy can yield profound results by uncovering and processing deep-seated issues that exacerbate family systems problems.
While the programming offered by concierge behavioral healthcare providers is extensive, their ability to relate with clients is, perhaps, one of their most important advantages. When clients and caregivers have ample time to develop an effective therapeutic alliance, the effect can be transformative.
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At Orenda at Futures, a concierge program in Tequesta, Florida, therapists with decades of experience have the opportunity to develop a deep rapport with clients to create the trust needed to delve into deeply-rooted psychological issues, including trauma. “Getting to know my clients is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work,” says Terry Macho, Primary Therapist at Orenda. At Orenda, Macho and his colleagues do not adhere to strict time limits during individual therapy sessions. Instead, they schedule meetings when clients are most receptive and allow sessions to follow an organic pace, allowing clients to feel more comfortable, become more open, and yield greater benefits. “We often find that clients are more engaged in psychotherapy after they’ve taken part in their morning wellness practice, like yoga, physical therapy, exercise, or massage. This helps them feel fully awake and refreshed and good about their physical health. They tend to be more responsive to the hard work of psychotherapy,” says Macho. “One of the best parts of this program, from my perspective, is having the freedom to make progress on the client’s terms. This means being able to keep working when clients are at their most open and productive. It means not having to keep an eye on the clock.”
Supporting clinical freedom, flexibility, and resources is as beneficial to clients as to caregivers. The ability for clinicians to feel empowered to do their best work, collaborate with expert peers, and see the results of their efforts, helps them feel more rewarded and less fatigued. “This is a client-first model of care designed to treat every client individually. Our team has the autonomy, tools, and support needed to deliver a truly personalized treatment experience. No option is off the table when it comes to helping our clients succeed,” says Elizabeth Potts, Executive Director of Specialty Programming at Orenda.
Collaboration is a hallmark of many concierge-style behavioral healthcare programs. With the permission of clients, care team members communicate and share information with primary care physicians, specialized care providers, family members, legal and financial professionals, professional licensure boards, and other constituents that all play roles in overall client health and well-being. Clients are often accustomed to concierge medicine because they utilize the services of concierge physicians. “Many of our clients have a concierge or direct pay primary care physician, and we work closely with them,” says Potts. “Concierge doctors tend to be much more involved with client case management and are often able to provide more background that is helpful when treating clients. They can often want to be more involved in aftercare planning and family involvement, as well, and we welcome their partnership. It’s good to know that when clients return home, they are returning to the care of a primary doctor who was part of our treatment team, and who can continue providing the highly personalized care and coordination clients need in recovery.”
The use of concierge approaches in behavioral healthcare makes a lasting difference for patients. Close personal attention and individualized care plans help clients achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery when previous treatment experiences have not been successful. Clients also benefit from careful aftercare planning that connects them to a comprehensive continuum of ongoing care after returning home. Integrated family programming leads to the restoration of supportive relationships and reduced stress for clients and loved ones. And close collaboration with a client’s primary physicians and other professional service providers leads to better-coordinated care in recovery.
Learn more about the Orenda at Futures Recovery Healthcare program at https://futuresrecoveryhealthcare.com/orenda/ or speak with an informed representative at (866) 683-1538.