Pioneers in substance abuse treatment discuss working together

June 8, 2013 at 1:57 AM
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MINNEAPOLIS, June 8 (UPI) -- Minnesota's Hazelden Foundation and California's Betty Ford Center confirm they are discussing a "formal alliance" in response to the Affordable Care Act.

Once implemented in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require insurers to sell plans on new state-based insurance exchanges that will cover substance abuse and mental health treatment as a covered service to millions more Americans.

Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center didn't release details about the nature of their talks and declined to comment beyond a prepared statement.

However, it's expected if the two organizations work together they would create more outpatient settings, not the cloistered stand-alone residential centers that draws celebrities and thousands of others to Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Hazelden, founded in a rural Minnesota farmhouse in 1949, is the larger of the two organizations, which share a similar, abstinence-based approach to treating drug and alcohol issues. Headquartered in Center City, Minn., Hazelden operates facilities in five states. It has broadened its focus to include bullying, opened an apartment for university students in New York City, and broke ground on a residential and out-patient expansion in Plymouth for adolescents and young adults.

The Betty Ford Center was founded in 1982 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., by the wife of former President Gerald Ford to tailor a drug-and-alcohol treatment program geared toward the needs of women. The Betty Ford Center also operates a children's program in Denver and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but its focus has remained on the 160-bed hospital located 2 hours east of Los Angeles.

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