Last Friday, we hosted our second ETHOS seminar in Denver, Colorado. The event is part of a series of one-day workshops taking place across the country this year. In each city, we are drawing together an intimate crowd of addiction treatment providers to discuss strategies for improving business operations.
After opening remarks from our beneficiary organization, 10,000 Beds, we kicked off our Denver event with a panel of experts who discussed how to make ethical marketing and business decisions. Each panelist delivered a unique perspective, which threaded into a larger conversation about how we should collaborate and come together as an industry to effectively and ethically reach those searching for treatment.
From our first panel, to our last session, one theme was evident: connection is key in our industry.
What is connection? Why do those seeking treatment often lack a sense of connection? How can we put connection at the forefront of our marketing and business strategy in order to better serve those looking for treatment?
Here’s how the theme of connection was layered into each presentation and the resulting discussions:
Jean opened with an incredibly moving story about her son’s struggle with addiction. It was ultimately the connection and bond of their family that convinced him to seek treatment. Armed with the inspiration of his story, Jean started 10,000 Beds which provides deserving individuals a second chance at life through an addiction treatment scholarship.
Black hat marketing is present in many industries and the addiction treatment space is no exception. Unfortunately, a few unethical players have corrupted patient trust and our industry’s reputation.
Our presenters pointed out that it’s often difficult to decipher between someone who is operating unethically and with malicious intent vs. someone who is unaware that his or her marketing practices are unethical. Instead of making assumptions and pointing fingers, it’s our duty to connect with others in the space and provide support and information to steer them away from black hat marketing practices. As an industry, we have the opportunity to come together and mentor one another. This will move us all closer to our common goal: to help individuals find treatment.
Making the decision to call a treatment center and admit that you’re struggling with addiction can be terrifying. You feel extremely vulnerable, and are often longing for some sort of connection with whoever is on the other end of the line. As a call handler, being mindful of the need for connection can change the entire course of the call. When we hone our deep listening skills, meet the individual where they’re at, and above all, remember that they’re a human being (not just a sale), we’re able to create a meaningful connection.
Billing correctly and to the standards of insurance companies is crucial for a treatment center to maintain a healthy revenue cycle. To do this successfully, it’s imperative that you connect with your staff – from the exec team all the way to the clinical team – to ensure that you’ve gathered all of the information needed to file a proper claim. This collaboration extends outside of your organization as well – it’s important to synch up with insurance companies directly to ensure you’re meeting standards for proper reimbursement.
Do you know the difference between doing the right thing vs. the right thing? It’s a loaded question, and one that Michael helped us unpack during his session.
First step: connect with your team.
Second step: determine what your goal is.
Third step: decide what your needs are.
Fourth step: decide what your wants are.
Fifth step: discuss what your reasons are and the “why” behind them.
This critical thinking exercise can be used to help teams construct a business plan, marketing strategy, or simply make an ethical decision. When you connect with your team on a deeper level by determining the ethics behind why you do what you do, you’re more likely to create an environment of success.
From the above, I hope I was able to make it clear just how important connection is in our industry. We see the power of connection every day when we reach individuals and help them make the life-changing decision to begin their recovery journey. Let’s take the power of connection into our day-to-day work to improve our organizations and our industry as a whole.
If you’re interested in hearing more from our speakers, we’d love to have you join us for our next ETHOS event in Philadelphia. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with your colleagues and receive insight from experts who are passionate about the integrity and future of our industry.