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Resource center engages potential patients

December 10, 2015
by Donna Marbury
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Morningside Recovery has opened a new resource center that will connect potential patients with treatment options. The resource center is located in Prescott, Ariz., and is initially targeting those who are homeless and would be able to access mental health and addiction treatment through Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan enrollment.

“Our first goal is to get homeless people off the street before ACA open enrollment ends on December 15,” says Steve Langbein, director of community services for the Morningside resource center.

Patients who decide to enroll in treatment using new ACA coverage have to wait until January 1 to begin receiving services because the insurance won’t kick in until the new year. Langbein says those who are already insured can be flown to one of Morningside’s facilities the same day, if needed. The organization operates mental health and addiction treatment centers in Orange County, Calif., and Austin, Texas.

Its new resource center offers a preview of treatment centers and one-on-one conversation with Langbein about their treatment options. There are no clinical services available at the site, but those needing immediate care can be directed to nearby emergency services.

“This is a pilot program to see how well this concept works out,” says Langbein.

The resource center opened in November and has a number of ACA plan beneficiaries signed up for treatment so far.

Langbein says that he has been visiting homeless shelters, networking with other human services agencies and driving traffic to the Morningside website to get the word out about the resource center within a 100 mile radius. He adds that the goal of the resource center is to keep those who need treatment engaged in the behavioral healthcare system, even if they don’t choose a Morningside facility. The resource center is free, and will refer people to other centers as well.

“In Arizona, there are a lot of treatment centers,” Langbein says. “A lot of people are young; they get drunk or high, or have an episode and leave their treatment.”

He believes those individuals need to be re-engaged.

This past year, Morningside Recovery has rolled out marketing initiatives in order to connect with atypical populations for addiction and mental health treatment. In August 2015, Morningside launched its Fresh Start program, which offers free treatment to people on probation and is marketed to police departments and probation officers across the country. Morningside’s Austin center, which opened in May 2015, allows patients to bring pets and mobile devices. 

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