When families are considering their drug and alcohol rehab choices, they may ask questions concerning cost, availability and treatment procedures. All of these questions are of vital importance, of course, but issues of license and accreditation may be just as important to consider. After all, facilities that have gone through the proper procedures likely have qualified staff members who are capable of handling an addiction issue, and facilities like this are also more likely to provide care that would be covered by insurance programs. Read on to find out how licensing and accreditation works, and how families can find out if the facilities they’re considering meet basic requirements.
Variations by Location
In the past, drug and alcohol rehab facilities were allowed to set their own rules and provide care as they saw fit. Much of that changed in 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, when states were asked to create a State Alcohol Authority and a Single State Authority for drug abuse. These entities would supervise the care given within the state, and ensure that all the services provided met reasonable standards of professionalism and safety. The states were allowed to set their own guidelines under this system, so the care could be tailored to meet the needs of people living within a specific geographic region.
While the requirements can vary, licenses provided by a state authority are typically required in order for an entity to open its doors and provide services. However, some states make accreditation completely voluntary. Other states require facilities to accredit only specific parts of their programs, such as their inpatient programs, while other parts of care they provide might not be subject to these stringent requirements.
Looking at a specific state’s requirements might be helpful. In order to license a drug rehab center in Connecticut, administrators need to follow a variety of steps, including:
- Obtaining a certificate of need
- Demonstrating compliance with zoning ordinances and building codes
- Complying with fire laws
- Providing statements regarding ownership and operation
- Obtaining insurance
- Providing an organizational chart
The facility might also be required to provide detailed information about how it provides care, and it might need to outline how its facility is staffed and how that staff is treated. The list of regulations is long and it’s detailed, but it’s easy to see how this kind of oversight might improve the quality of care. When the facility is required to go through so many hoops, it’s less likely that vital issues will be overlooked.
The Bottom Line
No one would expect family members to become experts on addiction care and the law. In fact, it’s likely that families like this have many other important things to attend to, so they may not have the time to delve into the specifics of the laws in their states, and the laws that govern faraway facilities they might also be considering. It’s best, however, to ask facility representatives to provide information on how their facilities comply with local laws, and it might be useful to compare the answers given by one representative to the answers given by an opposing facility’s representative. Careful comparisons like this can help families to make good choices.
If you’d like to know more about The Oaks at La Paloma and our licensing and accreditations, please call. We’re happy to share that information with you.