Addiction Centers Hazelden, Betty Ford Mull Partnership

The Center City-based Hazelden Foundation announced Tuesday that it is pursuing a potential alliance with Rancho Mirage, California-based Betty Ford Center.

The Hazelden Foundation and the Betty Ford Center, two of the largest addiction treatment providers in the country, are pursuing a partnership in preparation of changes stemming from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
 
Only the “concept” of a formal alliance has been approved by both parties, as discussions are ongoing, Center-City-based Hazelden said. Judge Gillis, Hazelden’s board of trustees chair, said in a statement that the ACA is one of the principle drivers behind the potential alliance, as it presents the addiction treatment field with both challenges and opportunities.
 
When asked if this “alliance” would result in a merger, Hazelden's spokeswoman declined to comment.
 
“The good news is that many more Americans who desperately need help will be eligible to receive quality treatment for their addiction to alcohol or other drugs,” Gillis said in a statement. “The challenge will be to pay for that expanded coverage and service.”
 
Hazelden’s 2011 revenue—the latest available—totaled $130.9 million, and the organization currently has 1,221 employees, according to the Hazelden spokeswoman.
 
The Betty Ford Center’s revenue totaled $40 million in 2012, and it currently has 225 employees, a spokesman from the organization said.
 
“The challenges are more in how treatment is going to be delivered,” Nick Motu, vice president of marketing and communication for Hazelden, told the Pioneer Press. “Forty million more people having access to treatment, that creates challenges (for Hazelden) in how to reach more people.”
 
“At this stage it appears that institutionally, only the strong will survive and thrive,” Gillis said. “Both Betty Ford and Hazelden are recognized as industry leaders, but the fact is, we’d be even stronger if we collaborated on a formal basis.”
 
Mary Pattinz, chair at Betty Ford’s board of directors, says Hazelden and Betty Ford are natural partners. At both facilities, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provide the foundation for treatment protocols, which are abstinence-based. 
 
“We’ve been as one since day one. Before Betty Ford Center opened its doors in October, 1982, we looked to Hazelden,” Pattinz said in a statement. “Our co-founders, First Lady Betty Ford and Ambassador Leonard Firestone, studied what’s still referred to as ‘the Hazelden model.’”
 
Hazelden was founded in 1949 as a farmhouse retreat for male alcoholics in Center City. It currently has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, and Florida.