Frequently Asked Questions

Healthcare  Professionals Frequently Asked Questions

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What makes St. Joseph Institute different other rehabs?

Our program is very different from most other rehab centers.  Most programs use group therapy as their primary method of treatment.  We use very little group therapy.  Our goal is to help the individual identify and begin to resolve the underlying reasons that drive their addiction – anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, the list goes on.  By using one-on-one counseling, and a very personalized approach, we see people heal faster and have better outcomes.

We are different in other important ways:

Our #1 criterion for admissions is that people want to get better.  We do not accept a high percentage of people sent by the court system – just looking for a way to avoid jail.  This allows us to maintain a much more positive environment that helps people heal.

We also treat the whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit – not just their addiction.  This is so important because if these other issues are not addressed, addiction treatment can become little more than a Band-Aid.  By helping the whole person get well, and find purpose, we greatly improve their success in recovery.

St. Joseph Institute is a faith based environment.  We do not have a religious agenda, but we work with people to discover meaning and purpose for their life.  As millions of people have discovered, addiction is a physical disease with a spiritual cure.  By helping people grow spiritually – addressing issues like grief, forgiveness, and is there a God who loves them – we help them find a deep strength for their recovery. 

What is the admission process?

We use a very simple admission process.  If the patient has health insurance we will take the information, confirm benefits, and provide our best estimate of cost.  We do this in order to cut down on any financial surprises.  The second step is a telephone interview that takes about 20 minutes.  In this conversation our admission counselor will be gain an understanding of what has been going on in your patient’s life, and the issues that will need to be addressed in treatment.  Our Clinical Team will conduct a review of this information and ensure that we are the right option to help your client. We will then schedule the admission time.  The entire process is usually completed within a few hours.

How qualified are your staff?       

We demand a very high standard of training and experience from our staff.  Most of our counselors have at minimum a Master’s Degree.  Many have special diplomas in the fields of behavioral health and addiction.  Our doctor is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine – one of only 2600 in the country.

What is a faith-based program?

A faith based-program acknowledges that overcoming addiction and remaining strong in recovery is not a journey that one takes alone.  Trusting God to provide help and support is a critical part of the healing process.  We encourage our residents to ask spiritual questions, and search for their understanding of God.

We are a Christian, non-denominational program.  We are not connected to any church or religious group, and do not have an agenda of what we want people to believe.  In appropriate situations we will share aspects of Christian teaching.  We encourage people to pray.  Our hope is that our residents will discover a faith that helps them boldly face life’s challenges, and enables them to embrace a strong sense of purpose.

What insurance plans do you take?

We can work with almost every commercial insurance program.  The Institute is an “in-network” provider for many programs, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  We will be happy to take insurance information and confirm benefits for substance abuse treatment.

We try to provide the best possible estimate of what your treatment will cost.  We will be very honest if we think there are hidden clauses that may affect coverage.  Health insurance for addiction treatment is complex and we want your patient to have all the facts so that there are no financial surprises.

How much does your program cost?

Most people who come to the Institute are covered by health insurance and their costs are limited to the deductible and copay detailed in their policy.  For those without Insurance who need to self-pay, the cost is $26,500 for our full 30-day program.  To help with this payment, we have a scholarship program that can reduce this cost by up to $8,000. 

Everyone coming into treatment with an annual income of less than $100,000 will receive our largest scholarship of $8,000 that reduces the total cost to $18,500.  There are smaller scholarships for people with higher incomes.  Financing can be arranged for those who need to self-pay, or if funds are needed to cover the deductible and copay.

What is the food like?

Our kitchen strives to provide residents with meals that will be enjoyable and also help improve their health.  We serve a healthy diet that restores the nutrients the body loses through addiction.  There will be salads, roast beef, salmon, chicken, hamburgers, pizza and many other dishes.  We are able to accommodate people with food allergies, vegetarian diets, and gluten sensitivity.

How often do residents see a counselor?

One-on-one counseling is a very important part of our program, and our residents work very closely with their counselors.  The counselors participate in various aspects of the program every day, ensuring regular interaction with the residents.  The ratio of residents to counselors is one of the lowest in the industry. Many rehab centers the counselor to resident ratio is as high as 30 to 1.

What is your policy about smoking?

Residents are permitted to smoke during free time and breaks in the program.  If someone wishes to stop smoking as part of their recovery, our medical staff will be pleased to help them.

What financing do we offer?

The Institute works with a financial organization that provide payment plans for treatment.  The application process for M-Lend is very simple.  On the “payment” page which is under the “Admissions” section on the website you can click on the company icons.  The Application form can be completed in less than two minutes.  Approval comes within a few hours.  

How does the detox program work?

St. Joseph Institute strives to move our residents rapidly and safely through the detox phase of their recovery.  Our Medical Director, who is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, will provide a variety of medication that moderate the symptoms of withdrawal.  People addicted to benzodiazepines will require a taper to safely end their use, and heavy opiate users have the option of Suboxone during the early days of coming clean.  These medical treatments are combined with nutritional and bodywork therapy to speed up the detox process and begin rebuilding physical health.

What is the age range of residents? 

The age range of our residents is commonly between 20 and 65.  We usually have residents who belong to every decade.  This creates a diversity of life experiences that benefits our residents as they learn from one another about the recovery strategies that have been most successful.

Residents over 40 usually find the Institute environment comfortable as we probably have other residents of a similar age.  Some rehab facilities have the majority of their population under 25, which can make it difficult for an older person.

What is your success rate?

There are many statistics used to calculate success and they can be very misleading.  We like to review where our graduates are 6 months after they leave us.  We are very proud of them.  A strong majority – close to 70% are still in recovery. We keep reaching out to those who are struggling.

Where are you located?

The Institute’s 200 acre campus is located on a very private mountainside about 20 minutes from State College, 2 hours from Pittsburgh and 3.5 hours from Philadelphia in central Pennsylvania.

Do you provide transportation?

If a family member or friend cannot bring the resident to our facility, we will arrange transportation for them.

Explain your holistic programming?

Holistic treatment means that we are concerned for the well-being of the whole person, not just the addiction.  We want to address areas of pain and difficulty that may be physical, mental, emotional, social or spiritual.  If a resident has chronic pain, we want to treat it.  If the resident is troubled by anxiety, grief, trauma or depression, we offer treatment.  What we know is that if these areas of life are not addressed, it becomes much, much harder to live in recovery.

Explain your nutritional therapy?

Nutritional therapy is a state-of-the-art treatment that focuses on brain chemistry and regaining your health and strength.  Drugs and alcohol affect the body’s ability to absorb and use essential nutrients that are critical to the production of neurotransmitters – the molecules used by the brain to transmit messages and balance moods.  For example, opiate users often have trouble sleeping -- which is related to low levels of serotonin.  Nutritional therapy helps the brain rebuild its supply of serotonin, and sleep improves.

Explain the bodywork aspects of the program?

The Institute draws upon the most successful techniques for treatment from both Eastern and Western medicine.  Different types of massage have been found to reduce stress, and there are treatments that use finger pressure on different points on the body that can facilitate healing.  Meditation is a very important way to relax for many people who find stress a big factor in their addiction.  We have staff trained in all of these techniques, and these treatments are included in our standard program.

When do residents see the doctor?

Our medical staff will conduct an assessment at the time of arrival, and our doctor will begin directing resident care at that time.  He may not see residents who are doing well frequently, but he will be monitoring their progress through the medical staff every day.

What is a day like?

Every day will have a mix of activities.  There will be a class and small group discussion that focuses on an important topic – such as how to manage stress or controlling the emotional impulses that are such a big part of addiction.  There will be one-on-one time with a therapist or counselor, time to relax, reflect and read, the opportunity for exercise, and a seminar on relapse prevention.  While our days are full, there are several hours of personal time to enjoy the property and the amenities.

Explain the family program?

We believe the family is an important part of treatment and encourage our residents to fully participate.  The program varies from one person to the next.  For some residents there may be some family counseling – with the family visiting the campus or joining us by Skype or telephone.  Some family members come and spend a day or more, attending classes, participating in counseling and learning about addiction.  

Why do we deny admission to someone?

There are two primary reasons why we do not accept someone for treatment at the Institute.  The first, is if they are not motivated to get well.  Rehab is a program of serious work to get your life back on track.  It is will be of little value if there is no desire to get well. Secondly, some people may require a higher level of care than we provide.  This happens when someone needs a lot of psychiatric help and supervision, or when they have an issue that requires specialized treatment – such as a severe eating disorder.

Is the therapist kept informed of progress?

Confidentiality laws allow the residents to determine who we can talk to and how much we can say.  We encourage our residents to allow us to speak with their referring therapist and keep them informed.  When this consent is provided, the counselor will reach out to the therapist with information as needed and a therapeutic summary



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