If you’re interested in hiring a drug rehab consultant, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
In this article, you will learn…
- how can a drug rehab consultant help me start my own treatment center?
- what are services do consultants offer?
- will a consultant increase my census and help grow my business?
- the steps to take to hire a consultant and improve your rehab and business.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Why Hire a Drug Rehab Consultant?
Building a professional treatment program with the goal of helping those in need is no easy task. Managing all of the responsibilities of opening a drug rehab is difficult. With great power comes great responsibility. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be complimentary in order to maintain an effective treatment program.
Let’s not forget to mention managing payroll, marketing, transportation, licensing, staffing and billing.
While creating a successful treatment center is certainly a rewarding business venture, it comes with a set of unique challenges that most people are not equipped to solve on their own.
This is where a drug rehab consultant comes in.
Consultants are contractors or employees that join your team to help solve specific problems and ensure that your treatment business runs effectively. Consultants serve the purpose of helping throughout every developmental stage of your business, from beginning to end.
What Services do Consultants Provide?
Our team of drug rehab consultants specializes in a wide range of services such as…
- opening a treatment center
- licensing and zoning
- staffing and hiring
- digital marketing
- Legit Script certification
- CARF Accreditation
- Joint Commission (JACHO) Accreditation
Opening Your Own Rehab or Treatment Center
Rehabs provide an important service to the men and women of our country. This specific line of work is highly valued in our society. It can also be a profitable business venture.
What could be more fulfilling than helping people and making money at the same time?
However, opening a rehab is a tedious process that requires many thorough steps. There is a ton of paperwork involved as well as acquiring the proper zoning and licensing for your facility.
As is the case with any medical business, it is paramount that you are certified by the state and that your staff is well educated and understands exactly what their professional role entails.
Furthermore, it is important you come up with a plan for how you are going to pay for all the upfront expenses? Do you need to acquire outside funding and financing to get your treatment center off the ground?
Our drug rehab consultants are available to help in all of these areas. Our team of experienced consultants has helped many treatment centers grow from an idea into a successful and helpful business venture.
In many cases, acquiring funding and gaining access to capital is one of the biggest barriers preventing people from achieving their dream of starting their own drug rehab.
The right consultant will have built many relationships with financial institutions, debt lenders, venture capitalists, and independent investors alike.
One of the biggest reasons to hire a drug rehab consultant, when looking to raise capital, is because effective consultants can assist in making sure your capital comes at an affordable price.
You don’t want to begin your treatment center venture by burying yourself in debt. Your business needs the experience of someone who specializes in these matters because access to capital is a critical resource in ensuring the success of your addiction treatment business. The upfront costs of rent, staff, equipment and medical staff can add up quickly.
Be smart about funding your treatment center.
Getting Accreditation from the Proper Bodies
In many cases, insurance companies demand that you are accredited from at least one of the major accrediting bodies.
There are two accrediting bodies that are most sought after and most respected. It is important your rehab is accredited because addiction treatment is a sensitive work that requires true professionalism. Without these accreditations, anyone could open a drug rehab.
What are the major accreditation bodies?
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
CARF is a non-profit accreditation body that evaluates substance abuse and dual-diagnosis programs. As the largest U.S. accrediting organization for addiction facilities, facilities that have met CARF-defined standards of care have attained the industry benchmark for quality programming.
How Do I Get CARF accredited?
- Consult with a designated CARF specialist.
- Conduct a self-evaluation with current CARF standards.
- Submit a survey application
- CARF invoices for a survey fee
- CARF selects the survey team
- The team conducts the survey
- CARF renders the accreditation decision for one of the following:
- Three-Year accreditation
- One-year accreditation
- Provisional accreditation
The Joint Commission (JCAHO)
The other major player in the addiction program accreditation is the Joint Commission, the nation’s largest accrediting body for hospitals and medical facilities.
Formerly known as JCAHO, the Joint Commission is also the second-largest accrediting organization for addiction rehabilitation programs in the U.S. Numerous types of healthcare providers can earn accreditation from the Joint Commission, which has accredited more than 20,000 healthcare programs and providers.
How Do I Get JCAHO Accredited?
- Review requirements
- Conduct a self-assessment
- Implement actions needed to make any changes
- Apply for accreditation
- Prepare for your on-site survey
- The JCAHO team conducts the survey
- Complete requirements for improvement
- Publicize your achievement
- Stay in compliance
Our team is a huge advocate for proper accreditation. Although our primary focus is on the business growth of our clients, we understand that the work we do affects the lives of people. We align ourselves with drug rehab facilities that provide the highest quality of care.
That’s why our consultants work so diligently to make sure our clients are always above board with their accreditation.
Digital Marketing Services that Move the Needle
Every drug rehab center needs to have an effective marketing strategy. Obviously, if you are unable to bring new clients into your facility, you will eventually go bankrupt.
In today’s business landscape, it is more important than ever to have a robust and effective digital marketing strategy in line with the rest of your marketing efforts.
The only way to be truly successful as a treatment business is to have a strong digital presence. Most people go online to look for treatment. If they can’t find your business, they will find someone else.
We have seen many examples of hard-working medical professionals taking on the risk of starting their own treatment center. However, they rarely possess the digital marketing skills required to build a brand and grow a treatment center to profitability.
In this case, it is often beneficial to hire a drug rehab consultant who can build a team of outsourced entities, all of which manage a particular domain or skillset within digital marketing.
One qualified consultant can build a great digital marketing presence that is cost-efficient, more streamlined, and requires less management than an in house team.
What are some of the strategies that a qualified consultant should implement into your digital marketing?
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the most useful and most important digital marketing strategy a drug rehab can implement.
When people are in need of addiction treatment, they almost always go to Google (or other search engines) to find the help they need.
For this reason, the drug rehabs that have skillfully SEO’d their website and their other online assets will be the rehab who successfully admits that client in their facility. SEO builds trust – it increases search traffic and drives new admissions to your facility.
If your treatment center can’t be found online, you are essentially invisible to prospective clients.
It is often the case that marketing directors prefer working with contractors or agencies to manage their SEO because it is usually cheaper and more effective than building an in house team of their own.
This is a huge benefit of hiring a consultant.
What are some of the more specific SEO tasks that a consultant would manage?
On-site SEO is the process of optimizing your company website in order to drive traffic to your site. Our team would facilitate this by creating new content on the website, building out service pages, and optimizing them all for location-based search.
Also, we would be sure to implement proper call to action prompts on your website so that you can convert traffic into phone calls and admits.
Outreach and Backlinks
One of the key rankings factors in SEO is backlinks. This is rarely a method that rehab owners want to manage in house. In other words, hiring a consultant for outreach and building backlinks to your website is a perfect solution.
Backlinks are important because they send signals to Google that builds trust and authority in your website. Without high-quality backlinks, you will never get the #1 search result in Google. Furthermore, building an outreach team takes too much work and pulls your attention away from treating your clients.
Outreach and backlink building is usually something that treatment centers don’t take seriously. It’s difficult work and it doesn’t produce the same instant gratification that other strategies do.
This is unfortunate considering backlinks are the number 1 determining factor in successful SEO practices. Serious business owners will have a long term mindset, and building backlinks are the best long term growth strategy there is for your digital marketing.
Google My Business
Google My Business (or GMB) is another important digital marketing strategy that a consultant can manage with great success.
With the rise of mobile search, many prospective clients search for treatment directly on Google Maps, which means that optimizing your business listing is a great way to drive phone calls and admits.
An experienced consultant would manage the content, regularly populate your listing with updated photos and posts, manage the reviews, reach out to previous clients (or alumni), and also be proactive about getting more 5 star reviews to your Google listing.
The importance of reviews can not be understated. We have seen huge success by adding this component into the overall digital marketing strategy. The goal is to build a process that cultivates better communication with graduated alumni in hopes of ultimately to earn more 5-star reviews.
Our efforts with this method have doubled and sometimes even tripled the admissions of our clients with this strategy.
Paid Search and PPC Google Advertising
Advertising on search engines (especially Google) is a huge part of most digital marketing strategies.
There are some real risks to advertising on Google. For this reason, a consultant could provide enormous value by helping you set up your advertising campaigns, building the landing pages, and ultimately managing the ad spend.
Addiction treatment is one of the most expensive advertising verticals on Google. If you are inexperienced, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to burn through 5 or even 6 figure marketing spends without seeing a good return on investment.
Google advertising is a science as much as it is an art, and it’s important that you work with a professional who can steer you in the right direction while protecting your valuable resources.
Legit Script Certification
In April of 2018, Google implemented a certification process for treatment centers that wish to advertise on its platform. This is called LegitScript Certification. In order to advertise on Google, you first must be certified by LegitScript.
Google partnered with LegitScript to ensure that all businesses and facilities running ads on Google were credible facilities with the proper credentials.
This was a positive step forward for the addiction treatment industry. However, this certification provided some real challenges for drug rehab businesses. The certification process is difficult and arduous. However, for many companies, being able to advertise on Google is a critical part of their admissions process.
We have helped countless facilities become LegitScript certified, and we will continue to provide great services to any of our advertising clients.
Social Media Consultants Build Community
Social media is another great example of why it is beneficial to hire a drug rehab consultant.
It’s important for addiction treatment facilities to take social media seriously. The reality is that many people use social media as a form of trust-building.
After people go to the company website, it is not uncommon for them to next go to the company social media profiles to get a better understanding of what the treatment experience would look like.
- what does the facility look like?
- who are my counselors going to be?
- what do the residences look like?
- what is the overall feel of the treatment center?
It’s clear that having a good social media presence is important. However, is this something that as a business owner, you would want to hire a full-time employee to manage?
A social media consultant could be the perfect solution for this. Often times, managing a social media account for drug rehab is work that can be outsourced. This strategy probably isn’t worth spending the money and resources to hire an in-house staff member to manage this.
The Value of Having a Long Term Marketing Strategy
The success of your drug rehab facility will largely depend on the success of your digital marketing.
However, it is easy to get caught in the trap of chasing short term thinking for short term results. This short term thinking can completely kill the reputation of a good brand as well as kill the momentum the digital campaigns had in producing results.
A consultant will walk you through the timelines, the investments, and the commitment required to truly build a successful digital marketing strategy built around long term success.
Building an Effective Business Development Program
Every successful drug rehab program will have a great business development team. Most of the admissions that come into a facility are the result of referrals from other administrative programs (such as hospitals) and other health organizations in the community. Business development is a crucial part of an effective and successful drug rehab program. Without building a great network of referral relationships, a treatment center is almost certain to fail.
How does a consultant assist with building a good business development team? The fact of the matter is that there is a true science behind business development and hiring a consultant to implement those tactics into your program.
For instance, how many outreach calls does it take to build a solid relationship? How many referral phone calls does it take to find a patient who is appropriate for your facility services? What are the ratios between those numbers?
How can we create a system so that every day, your business development reps are hitting the “action items” they need to hit to ensure that they back into their target numbers by the end of the month?
Drug rehab consultants will help implement these action items into your marketing.
What are some of the different sub-departments that consultants can improve upon?
CRM and Lead Nurturing
One of the best skills a good business development rep can acquire is keeping track of his/her leads and focus on maintaining fruitful relationships. Business development is all about building and nurturing relationships. But one of the challenges is that keeping track of relationships and the results acquired from those relationships can be overwhelming. A drug rehab consultant assists in building the technology systems that allow business development reps to track their relationships, the status of referrals and leads, and any admissions that have come from certain referral sources.
This is such a crucial aspect of building an effective business development team. Reps must learn the concept of referral currency and use it to constantly provide value to the people or organizations that have been providing value to him or her.
Understanding Your Funnel
The reality is that business development is often a numbers game. It is the result of understanding ratios. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s imagine a business development rep does one outreach meeting a day. That’s 20 meetings a month. Out of those meetings, one person becomes a referral relationship. On average, a referral relationship will refer to 1 admit a month.
Each rep will be responsible for admitting 4 new patients a month into your facility.
By doing some simple math, we can reason that it will take 4 months of a rep taking 1 meeting a day to consistently be admitting 4 new patients a month. It is the process of understanding the rations that will allow us to “back in” to the desired outcome and goals.
This is an overly simplified example, but it proves the point. In many cases, the reason why a business development team is not hitting their metrics is simply that they don’t have a good understanding of what their daily goals should be. A consultant can go through the numbers and start with the end in mind. If it takes 30 admits a month to run a profitable business, and you have 6 reps with consistent lead to admit ratios, how many leads do you need to hit 30 admits?
Our consulting services break it down into an easy to understand the formula that you simply need to execute on and continue to refine.
Call Tracking Metrics and Salesforce
Good call centers will use tracking software to build an understanding of the quality of the calls they are receiving and use this data to formulate strategies for improvement.
The two major software programs for this matter are Call Tracking Metrics and Salesforce.
Implementing these products is challenging. But any treatment center that is not properly tracking their call data and their conversation data is missing out completely.
Let’s look at how a drug rehab consultant can assist.
Call Tracking Metrics – CTM allows you to record phone calls and keep track of all the results of your inbound and outbound calls. Recording the phone calls gives your team a great opportunity to learn and get better. However, Call Tracking Metrics (CTM) is also a valuable data management tool.
A drug rehab consultant understands how to build out a CTM tracking source campaign and assists you in building your dashboard you so you easily measure, track your lead data and use it to make better decisions.
It is highly recommended that new facilities take this step seriously. You want to have clean call data from the opening day.
Salesforce is a powerful and robust data measurement tool. Usually, Salesforce is the primary software used by the entire admissions and marketing departments to help understand what marketing strategies have bee successful and which have not.
With salesforce, you can run detailed reports to know which business development reps are producing the best results, which ads are driving the most phone calls, which pages on your website are creating the most admits, and so much more.
Salesforce is an expensive product and it takes a lot of customization to create the software so that it fits the particular needs of your facility.
We offer customization services to help implement Salesforce and teach you how to use it so your entire company can benefit from understanding the data.
Other Important Web Traffic and Conversion Tools
If CTM and Salesforce are the tools that admissions teams use to understand the call data and the admissions data, then Google analytics and Search Console are the free tools that will help measure the data and the traffic patterns of your websites.
Just like in the business development department, it is often the case that successful digital marketing comes down to understanding the numbers.
Google Analytics is a free tool that you can install into your website. With Google Analytics, a consultant can analyze the traffic that comes to your website and use it to build strategies or improve on active strategies.
With Google Analytics, we can determine which pages are the most popular and even see how long people are staying on your site. We could then cross-reference that data to find out which pages on the website are converting into admissions. If we know this, then we can repeat the process and increase the call volume.
Search Console is another free tool that will give us more detailed information about the heath of the website. A website’s health is a big factor in whether a site will rank in the search engines.
Google doesn’t want to send people to websites that have broken links, broken pictures, slow site speed, and poor load time.
With search console, a drug rehab consultant is able to stay on top of the website and never let the site get below optimal site health.
This will provide a much better user experience for the end-user and give the website the best opportunity to grow the business.
Events and Conferences
Conferences are a huge part of the addiction treatment industry. Treatment owners should have resources set aside to send employees and staff to conferences and events. This is especially true of the business development staff.
Conferences are a great way to build relationships, network, and discover new opportunities for your facility.
Treatment CEOs often need assistance with conferences. It is difficult to know which ones are worth spending money on. It is just as important to know which conferences NOT TO attend as it is to know which ones are worth attending.
Our team of drug rehab consultants will assist you in building marketing material and creating booths and collateral, while also keeping a calendar of all the addiction treatment conferences in the area.
The importance of addiction treatment centers is monumental in today’s society. Rehabs offer vital services that save lives and restore familial relationships.
The services offered by a professional treatment center must be of the highest quality, as the business side of this development is just as important as the product. The reality is that the rehab industry requires upfront capital and healthy revenue cycles to effectively run a treatment center.
If you don’t have a good business plan, your dream and your service are bound to fail.
Drug rehab consultants bring a level of expertise that can assist you in keeping your treatment center profitable. Without profits, everyone suffers. It is the primary responsibility of CEO’s to ensure their business operates at a profit so that the patients receive the best care and the employees are paid without fail.
Our consulting services maximize the potential upside in your business. We look for every opportunity to grow your brand, grow your online presence, and add value to all departments.