Bain Capital Buying Up Methadone Clinics

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March 25, 2014; Brattleboro Reformer

NPQ has written on a number of occasions about the contrasts that can be drawn between nonprofit and for-profit nursing homes and hospices. Long story short, the profit motive shows in the quality of care and the price charged to Medicaid. Now, CRC Health Group, which is owned by Bain Capital, is reportedly assembling an empire of nationwide methadone clinics, what with heroin use being on the rise and all.

It most recently has purchased Habit OPCO, which has 22 clinics in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. CRC calls itself the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment services, and its website says it owns 154 treatment facilities across the country along with eating disorder programs, boarding schools, and wilderness camps.

Barry Karlin, the founder of CRC, is also the chairman and CEO of a national chain of pain management clinics. According to a Salon article entitled “The Dark Side of a Bain Success” from July 2012,

“The CRC acquisition immediately made Bain owner of the largest collection of addiction treatment facilities in the nation. Unlike some Bain Capital acquisitions, which led to massive layoffs, the company’s approach with CRC was to boost revenues by gobbling up other treatment centers, raising fees, and expanding its client base through slick, aggressive marketing, while keeping staffing and other costs relatively low. But that rapid pace of acquisition couldn’t be sustained in the mostly small-scale drug treatment industry alone. So Bain Capital and CRC set their sights on an entirely new treatment arena: the multibillion-dollar “troubled teen” industry, a burgeoning field of mostly locally owned residential schools and wilderness programs then serving, nationwide, about 100,000 kids facing addiction or emotional or behavioral problems.”

The article goes on to detail a truly frightening array of lawsuits and investigations related to the company and its subsidiaries. In the same article, Salon commented on Mitt Romney’s position on such endeavors. Romney was, of course, a principal at Bain, though not evidently involved in the CRC purchase:

“Romney has been outspoken about his belief that for-profit health care companies can flourish only without onerous regulations. ‘I had the occasion of actually acquiring and trying to build health care businesses,’ he said during a primary debate last year. ‘I know something about it, and I believe markets work. And what’s wrong with our health care system in America is that government is playing too heavy a role.’”

R. Andrew Eckert, CEO of CRC, responded to the Salon article in a statement. “Having for-profit, investor-owned treatment centers is a positive thing for our country. Unlike many non-profits or single-owned facilities, we have the geographic breadth and financial stability that enables us to continue to provide these necessary services, even in challenging economic times,” Eckert’s statement said.—Ruth McCambridge

  • BrenONeal54

    In this article it explains how Bain Capital ( Mitt Romney -Founder) owns the largest collection of Methadone Treatment Centers and Pain Management Clinics across the United States. Ann Romney was at the forefront about living with Multiple Sclerosis and other health problems during her husbands Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2012.

    On April 5, 2006 our 33 y/o daughter was found dead after she was prescribed Methadone as a pain medication by a negligent doctor. Methadone is a highly addictive dangerous and all too often deadly drug. Methadone is prescribed in treating opioid/opiate addictions and on the market as a pain killer in the last decade.

    I am curious would Ann Romney take Methadone as a pain medication ?

    In Febuary 2006, Bain purchased CRC Health Group for $ 720 million . Methadone is a multi billion dollar industry and greed is another type of addiction.

    Bren ONeal

  • M Thompson

    It is ridiculous to say that having a FOR PROFIT, investor owned treatment center is a positive thing for our country. You think just because you said it it is a fact? Marketing has gotten WAY out of hand and is no longer telling the truth to the public. To give TEENS methadone? This is just LEGAL drug dealing and the investors are making out. I feel sorry for the counselors and the nurses that work for you because when the ax falls, due to the fact that you are over-medicating most to keep them addicted to methadone, they will be blamed. Instead of the public getting false information that WE have to dig deep for the truth, I can’t wait for the day that your underpaid staff stand up and tell what they see. This is legal drug dealing… slightly, (due to under-staffing), supervised but basically just that. They are liars and they are getting away with it.. why not when most of our politicians are the primary investors? I guess it isn’t illegal to be an ass , huh, Romney? would you give this deadly medication to your family? I think not. But invest away, at the expense of many many young lives.. You will be held responsible in a greater scheme… THAT time will be Heaven to me.. And to regular tax payers? Don’t get mad at those who are on Disability for a drug problem.. most weren’t on it until they started methadone and it was encouraged … know why? because if they have Disability, these Romney’s of the world get a GUARANTEED income as the clients become Lifers… at OUR expense. If the client steps up and says no to wanting disability (which hardly happens).. they risk “FINANCIAL DETOX”.. which means they are taken off the drug (see, I guess it isn’t needed if they don’t have the money) Most billing offices at clinics ONLY know how to bill medicaid.. go figure… This is a scam and ANY politician who thinks this is a great idea is not a good politician.. he is a ‘savvy businessman’ and a liar and out for his OWN interests… not the public.. I don’t care what party they are from, I don’t want them in office. There. I said it.. this is the truth..

  • Chris

    Methadone Maintenance Treatment saved my life. Literally. I’m a productive citizen of society now after 10 years of being addicted to heroin. Its not for everyone. But if you’ve tried everything like i have with little or no results this is your answer. Now. I’ve moved from a non profit clinic in Florida to a CRC “Bain” clinic in indiana. Huge diff. I hate this clinic. Horrible. You can def tell its all about the money. Plus the last year I’ve been here treatment cost rose from 13 bucks a dayday to 15.50 a day. With talks of going up once again. “For profit” is good for markets or retail. Not for your health. Not for one building/one company that treats all of the metro area of Indy. They can duo what they want and charge what they want. Horrible.