Sunday, June 8, 2008

DePaul Addiction Services facility in Rochester closing in mid-August

DePaul Addiction Services will close all inpatient beds at its Main Quest Treatment Center in mid-August, and Monroe County officials are searching for a new organization to run the area's primary detox facility for patients going through severe withdrawal.

Because of declining occupancy rates and ongoing financial troubles, the organization will move all patients into local hospitals or to another DePaul addiction treatment center in Bath, Steuben County, said Marcia Dlutek, a DePaul spokeswoman.

Kelly Reed, Monroe County's commissioner of human services, said county officials are working with DePaul to find organizations to take over the addiction services.

DePaul will continue operating its outpatient program, but the county sent a request to local organizations last week asking for applicants to take over both the inpatient and outpatient addiction services offered by Main Quest. The county also plans to send requests for organizations to take over DePaul's Problem Gamblers program and the Rochester Area National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, also run by DePaul, said Kathleen Plum, director of the county's office of mental health.

According to Dlutek, the need for Main Quest's inpatient detox program has declined as addiction treatment increasingly shifts toward outpatient services. Occupancy rates at Main Quest have dropped in the last several years, and the inpatient unit was recently downsized from 35 beds to 20 beds.

"There seems to be capacity in the community at other programs," said Dlutek.

Plum said outpatient treatment has become the trend for recovering opiate addicts and some alcoholics in the early stages of withdrawal. But Main Quest's closure still leaves a "potential gap" when it comes to treating some of the most severe addicts who need supervision during withdrawal.

The John L. Norris Addiction Treatment Center in Rochester and Unity Health Systems offer inpatient chemical dependency rehabilitation programs, and local hospitals take in some addicts going through withdrawal, but Main Quest runs the area's only major inpatient detox facility.

"The need is certainly there," said Doug Stewart, vice president of Unity Behavioral Health. "If there were no inpatient detox facilities in that area, that would be a significant gap."

Stewart said Unity, which runs an outpatient detox program, has space in its outpatient and rehabilitation programs but is not licensed to run an inpatient detox facility.

"It's a difficult service to develop and run," said Plum.

Main Quest's closure comes four years after DePaul took over the treatment facility, at 774 W. Main St., from the now-defunct Health Association. Both DePaul and the Health Association faced constant financial troubles running a program for which Medicaid reimbursements often don't match costs. The program was never "fiscally viable," Dlutek said.

"We're hoping other providers in the community will take this as an opportunity to step up," said Reed. "I'm sure there's going to be some interest in the community."
source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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