Owning a Drug Rehab: The Business Side

Owners are often not shown the appreciation they deserve for owning a drug rehab. These individuals are at the frontline of the opioid epidemic. They have dedicated their lives to saving lives and helping others achieve long-term sobriety. The general public does not realize how difficult it is to own and operate a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.

Complex Process of Starting a Drug Rehab

Most substance abuse rehabilitation center owners and operators are in recovery themselves. They know firsthand how drug and alcohol addiction can destroy lives. Many strive to help as many people as possible, and this is not an easy task. As an owner of a substance abuse disorder treatment rehabilitation facility, many things must be taken care of daily and monthly to keep the doors open. There are very high costs associated with owning and operating a drug rehab. If these individuals cannot pay their monthly bills to keep the doors open, they cannot continue to help individuals into long-term recovery.

Starting an addiction treatment center is challenging, especially managing the licenses required by the state and local governing bodies such as the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Also, local zoning ordinances are necessary for the city’s approval. The cost of attorneys is required in every aspect of owning and operating a drug rehab.

Owning a Drug Rehab Requires Licensing and Accreditation

Many drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers are Joint Commission accredited, and this is a costly accreditation; however, it demonstrates that they adhere to the strictest standards. Therefore, many of the treatment centers get this certification. To receive this certification, many treatment centers hire outside consultants and spend large sums of money. Proper documentation and having a “policies and procedure manual” detailing all internal processes at a drug rehab facility is a requirement. These are typically lengthy manuals that require an educated and experienced individual to construct.

In addition, there is a business plan that business owners must put together which outlines all the requirements for a business to stay operational. In combination with this, individuals will need a Pro Forma which outlines all the costs associated with operating the business. On a monthly or yearly basis, a projection of earnings of up to five years is required.

To compile a Pro Forma, you must know how much the insurance companies pay for each care level. This information is generally available from a medical billing company based on an accumulation of data from a specific geographical area. The medical billing company will have information on how much the insurance companies are paying for all the different types of payers.

Drug Rehab Marketing


Even with the medical component in place and the location up and approved, there is still the most challenging obstacle owners face daily. They need clients to be able to pay their bills and keep the doors open. This is one of the most challenging aspects of owning and operating a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.

The competition is highly competitive. A handful of big players spend in excess of $500,000 a month in marketing to generate clients. This makes it extremely difficult for small and medium size substance abuse rehabilitation providers to survive. What are their options to generate clients?

The are only a few different ways for drug rehabs to generate clients. A thriving addiction treatment center will use a combination of these to sustain itself.

  • Google Ad Words and PPC
  • Drug rehab SEO (ranking organically on page one of Google for keywords)
  • Google Maps 3 pack – Ranking in the top 3 Google Maps (This is one of the best ways for small centers to beat the big ones.
  • “Boots on the Ground” – Referrals from other centers, private clinicians, the courts, hospitals, and more.

As you can see above, generating leads and new clients is difficult. Each one of the above requires financial investment and time. Even with all this in place and working correctly, there are still a few areas of concern left: admissions process and medical billing. We will cover both of these critical areas.

Admissions: Where Countless Dollars Are Lost Every Year – Get It Back with instantvob™


Admissions are one of the areas that drug rehab owners must pay careful attention to every day. Drug rehabs allocate a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy to generate leads. A lead usually costs about $4,000, so rehab owners must capitalize on every phone call generated.

People are not looking for help only during business hours. A call for help can come, and usually does, on nights and weekends. Many drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers could not verify health insurance benefits then. The only thing they know for sure is the potential patient’s insurance.

We recommend the instantvob™ health insurance verification app for all drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. This app will help save lives and help drug rehabs generate more admissions. The key factors needed to make the best decision possible by the admission staff have been outlined below. Learn more about why centers need to verify health insurance benefits here.

  • Insurance type
  • What is the deductible amount?
  • How much of the deductible is met?
  • What is the maximum out-of-pocket expense?
  • Is there any co-insurance?
  • Are there any co-pay factors?

These answers eliminate the risk of the addiction treatment center admitting this patient and also allow the admissions professionals to keep the individual seeking help on the line while they check this critical information. The process only takes about 10 seconds to get up-to-date and correct answers. If they find out they cannot help the patient due to financial concerns, they can advise them on other ways to obtain help with their current insurance benefit coverage. They could even have a conference call with the best potential addiction treatment center that offers coverage based on the patient’s insurance policy. This enables those with limited insurance benefit coverage to obtain their needed help.

Medical Billing Concerns – Providers Are Leaving over 20% on the Table!

Medical billing procedure improvements are one of the least scrutinized areas of operating a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. Specifically smaller centers and some medium-sized facilities think they’re saving by doing their medical billing in-house, however, these facilities are losing and writing off more than 20% of their annual billing.

Hiring a well-staffed, experienced medical billing company in the substance abuse industry is a wise choice. They have the experience and human resources to negotiate with insurance companies. The insurance companies often stall and audit to delay payment long enough for the addiction treatment centers to write it off. Additionally, experienced medical billing company will also know the best ways to process claims and services, which is why we always recommend addiction treatment centers have a medical billing company audit their receivables every year. This evaluation could recoup countless dollars left on the table.

We Help Drug Rehab Owners Everyday


If you are in the business of owning a drug rehab facility, we can help you in two key areas;  generate more admissions with our instantvob™ software and get advice on your revenue cycle management processes. On average, our clients get over 20% more reimbursements from overdue receivables and claims that untrained medical billers may have submitted incorrectly.

We appreciate drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers for what they do every day. They are saving lives and making a difference at this difficult time. The next time you think the owners of addiction treatment centers have an easy job, think about some of the things we covered in the article. There are many more reasons to admire substance use disorder treatment facility owners. We can only cover a little in a blog article.

We know running a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center is difficult. There are many different things owners must take care of every day. Call us at 561-530-5755, and let us help you save and generate more revenue.




Verification of benefits helping drug rehab owners

Drug Rehab CEOs – Stop Guessing With instantvob™

instantvob™ knows that owning and operating a drug rehab can be a difficult task. There are many aspects and moving parts to a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. Some of these critical areas include business, clinical, and marketing. Sometimes they need comprehensive and utterly accurate information within seconds to help save lives. Although many own and operate a rehab to help genuinely, they need operating capital to keep their doors open.
They do this by obtaining new clients, which is a difficult task. In that process, their admissions and marketing teams need critical answers quickly to decide how to help an individual on the phone. Unfortunately, health insurance plays a significant role in this process. The drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers need to verify insurance information in real-time. They need these critical answers in seconds to get back to the individual seeking help on the phone. This can be done while on hold with instantvob™ services.

Seeking Addiction Treatment Help is a Critical Time

An estimated 20 million people in the US go without help for drug and alcohol addiction. There are many reasons for this; however, it is critical when someone reaches out that there are no obstacles for them to get the help they desperately need. In addition, we are now trying to deal with a record number of opiate overdose deaths in 2021. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released record opiate overdose numbers for 2021 that recorded over 200 lives per day. This is a considerable increase of 150 before the Covid-19 pandemic. Many drug rehabs are turning to instantvob™ to help them approve or get individuals reaching out for help the individualized help they need.

When substance abuse rehabilitation centers get calls, they need the most up-to-date information possible to make a good decision on how to help this individual. If they do not accept their health insurance, they will be able to direct to a center that can; a critical responsibility. Leaving someone reaching out for help with no solutions could be life-threatening.

A good treatment center will hand deliver someone to another center when they cannot help. While this is not always possible, there are other ways to ensure they get in contact with the best solution. They can add a three-way with the right center that accepts that insurance.

Drug Rehab Owners Taking the Guessing Out of Admissions with Instant Verification of Benefits Tools

There are high costs associated with operating a drug rehab. The list is endless with many high price ticket items that must be done. Some of these may include the following items.

  • Mortgage, rent or lease
  • Joint Commission Accreditation
  • Monthly marketing and advertising
  • Monthly taxes, insurances, and licenses
  • Monthly payroll
  • Monthly attorney’s fees
  • Monthly utilities
  • Food

The list goes on and on. Operating cash is critical for addiction treatment center owners. Without operating cash, they would have to close their doors. They would be unable to provide much needed scholarships to help the many without resources to get help.

The substance abuse rehabilitation centers spend a lot of money in obtaining clients. In fact, it is estimated that it costs between $5,000 and $8,000 to obtain a new client. Combine that will all the other expenses and you can clearly see they need help.

instantvob™: Saving Addiction Treatment Center CEO’s Time and Money by Verifying Treatment Instantly

Addiction Treatment CEOs saving time and money with instant verification of benefits

Verifying treatment before admission is the only choice to answer questions regarding reimbursement. Instant verification of benefits is a critical tool for drug rehabs. When marketing or admissions get a potential client on the phone, they must provide immediate answers. They need to know what the insurance companies are paying for particular services in particular areas.

Our comprehensive and innovative web app assists many different departments of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. Some of the areas that will benefit include the following.

  • Marketing
  • Admissions
  • Revenue Cycle Management
  • Substance Abuse Billing

Our app is the most comprehensive and up-to-date in the industry. We leverage our in-depth knowledge of substance abuse billing and revenue cycle management from Integrity Billing. This knowledge allows us to provide your teams with the fastest response with the most accurate information on the market today. These insights allow your teams to make the best-educated decisions on admissions.

Not All Methods of Benefits Verification Are Available on Nights and Weekends

Nights and weekends play a critical role in obtaining clients for drug rehab owners. Instant verification of benefits answers essential questions for drug rehab CEOs. However, they are not all made the same. As an addiction treatment center owner, you need quick and easy answers when finding out about potential clients’ insurance policies. Often, centers have an outdated verification of benefits process, or the numbers are simply incorrect. Some critical areas where time and information play a role include the following:

  • Correct information allows centers to correctly forecast the reimbursements for detox, inpatient, and intensive outpatient programs
  • Our instantvob™ provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information within 8 seconds!
  • Health insurance information without errors allowing drug rehabs to update insurance before admissions
  • 24/7, 7 days per week
  • All of your insurance verifications are securely saved in our portal for reference anytime

Help drug rehab marketing and admissions teams by getting a free instant verification of benefits demo today

Give instantvob™ a call now at 561-530-5755 or schedule a FREE instant VOB demo by clicking here. It’s time to take out the guessing of your patients insurance coverage status. We can get you up and running today!