Treatment center says high deductibles and lack of insurance coverage for education hampers heroin outreach

08/08/2014 09:00 AM

LOUISVILLE — As overdose deaths attributable to heroin continue to rise policy leaders and candidates for office are saying the problems must be addressed.

One of the areas where action is already taking place is in treatment centers, but one such center says progress is tempered by high insurance deductibles which can make treatment decisions difficult.

Democratic Attorney General Candidate Andy Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, spoke with Pure Politics about the heroin issue recently and he said the statistics are “alarming.”

“We’ve got to act quickly,” Beshear said adding that drug sentencing laws might need to be adjusted, and he said the state needs to invest in treatment centers.

The Morton Center in Louisville is a privately funded non-profit treatment center which specializes in a family focused educational based therapy and recovery for addicts and alcoholics.

Priscilla McIntosh, CEO of the Morton Center, says the center has seen an increase in patients hooked on heroin.

“I think the thing we have to do to with any type of addiction is start with the education process that is the key for us to be able to really allow for individuals to understand it is a disease,” McIntosh said.

A major challenge for the center is providing educational services, which they say can reduce the abuse of the drug. Insurance companies, McIntosh said, do not pay for educational services — though the center does all it can to provide payment plans or provide services for everyone.

Hear more of the process the Morton Center provides for addicts in the interview:

McIntosh said the average co-pay for therapy costs $25 to $40 each visit and for someone with a major addiction there nearly daily 8 hours and more sessions conducted over the course of 90 days.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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