“Traditional yet Innovative:” this is how the CARF surveyor described House of Hope during our accreditation survey. Wise insight. For the past five years, as the treatment for Substance Use Disorders transforms, House of Hope has been challenged as its third-party payers demand transformation, and our roots demand stability. Despite the challenges, House of Hope has risen to the occasion; our budgets have grown, our staff has increased, we have added a property to our portfolio, and most importantly, we have done it while not losing focus of our mission to help women remain sober.
Growing strategically has been the name of the game. Skillfully considering growth opportunities to see how they match our philosophy has allowed us to seize the moment and do so strategically. As treatment has evolved, we must also consider how these new techniques can best help our patients. Each time we move towards innovation, we want to make certain we do not throw out the tried and true. Such was the case this year with our decision to add Contingency Management to our treatment continuum.
Early in the year, an opportunity arose to be amongst the first to pilot Contingency Management in LA County. True to our innovative zest, we did our research and, after careful consideration, put our bid in to join the few agencies piloting. Although Contingency Management had been well-researched with positive test outcomes, this was the first time Federal dollars would cover this type of treatment through Medi-Cal, hence the urgency to pilot. Contingency Management is an Evidence-Based Treatment technique specific to Stimulant Use Disorder. Firmly planted in the medical model, Contingency Management addresses the changes in the brain caused by the stimulant; specifically, the patient is given small, consistent monetary rewards for staying sober. By giving small, incremental financial rewards in the form of stipends, the patient is incentivized to stay sober. As the patient produces a drug test free of stimulants, a stipend is given to them on the spot. The idea is to promptly reward the participant for continued sobriety and, in this way, try to quiet the neuropathways in their brain clamoring for drugs. Contingency Management also helps combat the stigma associated with Substance Use Disorder because participants who cannot produce a stimulant-free drug test can return and try again on their next scheduled visit.
We are eager to duplicate the positive results the research teams reported and reduce the number of relapses among our patients with Stimulate Use Disorders. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve the lives of the women we serve.
Chief Operations and Compliance Officer