Okla. rehabilitation facilities struggling - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Okla. rehabilitation facilities struggling

Lawton_The number of those addicted to drugs and alcohol is up in Oklahoma.  However, money to help them is down, and there's no quick fix.  Professionals in the field of rehabilitation say the system is broken, and it's not just about funding. 

Insurance problems, mind-numbing paperwork, long waits, and the distance some must travel to get help all contribute to a system that may be failing.  Rehab professionals say they believe there are no easy solutions, and most believe the system probably cannot be completely repaired.  It simply costs too much. 

Taliaferro Mental Health Center Administrator Jim Regan says legislators are working on getting more funding, but they can only do so much.  Rehabilitation and addiction can be a vicious cycle.  When addicts don't get sufficient treatment, they can relapse.  "As individuals go seeking treatment there are very, very few resources in our area, and a lot of time those individuals have to seek the treatment outside," says Regan.

Regan says a lack of state and federal funding, combined with an increase in addicts, has led to a cash-strapped system.  But, it doesn't stop there.  Getting insurance to pay for mental health treatment is another problem.  "That's because the private insurance companies tend to not want to reimburse for mental health and substance abuse treatment," he says. 

Some insurance companies also restrict the number of days a patient can be treated.  Regan says it makes him wonder who decides a patient's course of treatment - a clinician or an insurance company?  He says it all comes down to how much the insurance companies are willing to pay, and the vicious cycle can start again. 

The paperwork can cause headaches as well.  At Taliaferro, there are 22 pages worth of paperwork to complete just to be considered for admission, and an additional ten once a patient is admitted.  But, Regan says they're trying to change that.  "They're working on in trying to reduce the paperwork to just what is needed.  Instead of tying a clinician up in doing paperwork, you've got them out there doing treatment."

In a long line of troubles facing rehab facilities in Oklahoma, another towering problem is location.  If a patient lives in a rural area, they may have to drive up to two hours for state-funded treatment. That travel time could contribute to job loss. 

Taliaferro is state-funded, and hopes are to expand its treatment services.  Currently, there are facilities in Lawton, Duncan, Altus, and Anadarko.

7News Reporter Lindsay Vocht

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

    Deadly fire shuts down key route to Yosemite National Park

    Sunday, July 15 2018 2:04 PM EDT2018-07-15 18:04:23 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 12:36 AM EDT2018-07-16 04:36:52 GMT
    (Andrew Kuhn /The Merced Sun-Star via AP). Crews battle the Ferguson Fire along steep terrain behind the Redbud Lodge along Highway 140 near El Portal in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 14, 2018.(Andrew Kuhn /The Merced Sun-Star via AP). Crews battle the Ferguson Fire along steep terrain behind the Redbud Lodge along Highway 140 near El Portal in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 14, 2018.

    A wildfire that killed a California firefighter has grown quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park.

    A wildfire that killed a California firefighter has grown quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park.

  • Young, joyful France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2nd World Cup

    Young, joyful France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2nd World Cup

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:03:26 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 12:24 AM EDT2018-07-16 04:24:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.
  • Paraglider charged in Trump resort flight; Finns demonstrate

    Paraglider charged in Trump resort flight; Finns demonstrate

    Sunday, July 15 2018 7:37 AM EDT2018-07-15 11:37:37 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-07-16 04:05:37 GMT
    ( John Linton/PA via AP). In this Friday, July 13, 2018 photo, a Greenpeace protester flying a microlight passes over US President's Donald Trump's resort in Turnberry, South Ayrshire, Scotland with a banner reading "Trump: Well Below Par", shortly aft...( John Linton/PA via AP). In this Friday, July 13, 2018 photo, a Greenpeace protester flying a microlight passes over US President's Donald Trump's resort in Turnberry, South Ayrshire, Scotland with a banner reading "Trump: Well Below Par", shortly aft...

    Scottish police say they have arrested a man in connection with a Greenpeace protest that breached a no-fly security zone and flew a banner close to the golf resort where President Donald Trump was staying.

    Scottish police say they have arrested a man in connection with a Greenpeace protest that breached a no-fly security zone and flew a banner close to the golf resort where President Donald Trump was staying.

Powered by Frankly