Maryland House Detox Executive Director Scott Dehorty discusses the faculty and services they will provide. Maryland House Detox, in Linthicum, will soon open its doors to patients for residential drug detox services.
A detoxification center its owners hope will break the mold for substance abuse treatment is set awaiting final state approval to open by the end of May.
Touting treatment as the first of its kind in the state, officials with Maryland House Detox are looking to detach typical residential treatment stays from detoxification services. The goal is to focus more on the prospective patients' needs for immediate detoxification services and attach them to other follow up treatment later.
In a tour of the facility in Linthicum, officials with the center said those in the industry should be trying to tackle the issue in any way possible.
"We can't put all our eggs in one basket," said Neeraj Gandotra, chief medical officer for Delphi Behavioral Health Group, which is running the center.
Inside the center, it's a mixture of medical practice, a small group setting and rooms meant for short stays.
Sixteen beds are separated into modest three-bed and two-bed rooms, with men to be relegated to the former and women to the latter.
Two beds will be reserved for Medicaid-eligible patients, with the other 14 to be given priority to those with eligible private insurance or the ability to pay for their treatment, executive director Scott Dehorty said.
He added that, despite the fact it still has not received final state approval to open and operate, the center has an agreement for coverage from CareFirst, the largest private insurer in the region and is talking with other insurance companies.
As Anne Arundel County seeks ways to tackle a problem that continues to set records in its lethality, officials have pointed to both the need for more beds eligible to be reimbursed through state funds via Medicaid as well as more detoxification services.
Dehorty said the center will be prioritizing people with private insurance and the ability to pay for the majority of their beds, but he said that if beds are open the center will not turn away Medicaid-eligible patients.
"We're not going to hold empty beds just because they don't meet that criteria. We're not going to deny care," he said.
The center looks like a small residential treatment center. Situated not far from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the bedrooms are muted in their appearance but give a view of a modest backyard featuring a garden and soon-to-be coy fish pond.
There's a common area for group therapy, a stocked kitchen with a full-time chef and two cooks.
People looking for treatment will be evaluated based on their condition and type of addiction before being referred to an individualized level of care, Gandotra said. He added that interviews about their history will be conducted with both a doctor and a nurse in the room to save some time.
County Health Officer Fran Phillips has praised the center for its commitment to Medicaid patients, but center officials stressed the long-term success of Maryland House Detox will largely rely upon its partnerships with other treatment providers.
Gandotra said the center already has made an arrangement with Baltimore Washington Medical Center for referrals. Someone looking for detoxification services could come in with a medical condition that needs to be treated first, officials can send the patient to the hospital before they're brought back for their addiction treatment.
They're also looking to network with area treatment centers with longer stays of inpatient or outpatient care. While officials at Maryland House Detox may be able to determine what type of ongoing care the patient should receive upon their exit, it'll be up to other centers to provide that care.
"We can't operate as an island," Dehorty said.
As long as the state gives the center final approval — Dehorty said they've received preliminary approval from the Maryland Health Care Commission — it'll be the second major project looking to offer detoxification services in the county.
Gaudenzia is looking to expand their addiction treatment capacity by 27 beds and add detoxification services to its Crownsville location by July.
It comes as county and Annapolis officials say they want to get people into detox as early as possible, as they're seeing people become discouraged from treatment if they would be asked to handle the withdrawal symptoms without it.