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The 800# and Call Center Problem(s)

Dr. Tony Greco / Sep 27, 2017

Why can’t I trust the 800 numbers or existing websites? When I go to the internet I see 800#’s and websites that appear to help me find treatment. I’ve called these places and when I tell them I’m calling for someone who does not have money they either want to “get them insurance” or if the client has Medi-Cal or Medicare they refer us to either SAMHSA or other city, county, or state phone numbers. Basically they don’t want anything to do with us and can’t help. If I’m calling for someone who does have money the problem with these 800 numbers or websites they only refer me to facilities that pay to be part of their system. The call centers like these are not sending my client to the best possible place that is suitable for my client. They are collecting their info and selling them as a “lead” to the facility that is willing to pay anywhere from $500-1,000 per lead! (Is this client brokering? We’re not sure but it’s dangerously close.) And often the lead is going to more than one facility so either me or my client gets calls from multiple facilities. The simple solution to this problem does not really exist, so it seems like we need to attack this problem on a few fronts, which is why the the Get Help® system was created. Because a large problem with call centers is that they are biased to support only the people advertising on their websites, the goal of the Get Help® system is to show you all types of treatment regardless of a person’s ability to pay for treatment. The staff designing and implementing the Get Help® system are involved in an extensive screening process, trying to weed out the unethical treatment centers who engage in client brokering and those who are not seriously trying to help their clients. Furthermore, the Get Help system is designed to provide the optimal amount of transparency about treatment facilities, their prices, their typical milieu, and availability to admit you into treatment. Finally, the Get Help® system helps cut out the middle-man and provides you with the treatment center’s various forms of contact, as opposed to paying for us to contact the treatment center for you like you’ve probably experienced with other treatment placement services.