Healthcare Professionals Frequently Asked Questions

Healthcare Professionals Frequently Asked Questions2018-11-27T16:02:12+00:00

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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 and more.  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 as well:

Our #1 criterion for admissions is that people want to get better.  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 a relationship with a God who loves them – we help them find a deep strength for their recovery.

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 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.
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.
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 meditate and pray.  Our hope is that our residents will discover a faith that helps them boldly face life’s challenges and embrace a strong sense of purpose.

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 patient’s 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.

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, reducing 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.

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.
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. In many rehab centers the counselor to resident ratio is as high as 30 to 1.
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.
The Institute works with a financial organization that provides payment plans for treatment.  The application process for M-Lend is very simple.  On the “payment” page, 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.
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 medications that moderate the symptoms of withdrawal.  People addicted to benzodiazepines will require a taper to safely end their use, and heavy opioid users have the option of Suboxone during the early days of coming clean.  These medical treatments are combined with nutritional therapy to speed up the detox process and begin rebuilding physical health.
The age range of our residents is commonly between 18 and 65.  We usually have residents who belong to every decade.  This creates a diversity of life experience 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.

There are many statistics used to calculate success, but 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.
The Institute’s 200-acre campus is located on a very private mountainside in central Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes from State College, 2 hours from Pittsburgh and 3.5 hours from Philadelphia.
If a family member or friend cannot bring the resident to our facility, we will arrange transportation for them.
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.
Nutritional therapy is a state-of-the-art treatment that focuses on brain chemistry and regaining 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, opioid 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.
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 frequently when they are doing well, but he will be monitoring their progress through the medical staff every day.
Every day will have a mix of activities.  There will be a class and small group discussion that focus on an important topic, such as how to manage stress or control 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 their days are full, our residents have several hours of personal time each day to enjoy the property and the amenities.
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.
There are two primary reasons why we do not accept someone for treatment at the Institute.  The first is a lack of motivation to get well.  Rehab is a program of serious work to get your life back on track.  It 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.
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