Average Inpatient Alcohol And Drug Rehab Costs

This isn’t totally scientific, but I did a quick informal study on rehab costs.  Pop-recovery website thefix.com has a section of rehab reviews which offers up brief reviews, ratings, prices, and pictures of some of the most popular inpatient/residential treatment programs in the country.  As of today June 9 2011, there are reviews for 32 rehabs on the site.  I did a quick analysis of their listed prices and here’s what I found:

The average price for a 28 day stay is $25,166.

When we average only the facilities with on-site detox (26 out of 32), the average price is $27,399.

Finally, if we look only at those facilities which don’t offer detox services (6 out of 32), the average price $15,491.

Out of curiosity, I called the Fort Lauderdale Hospital to ask a for a price quote on inpatient detox.  This is a service which usually lasts 3-10 days.  Their price – $750 a day, with a 5 day deposit required ($3750).  If we assumed 5 days to be the average length of detox, and added this cost to the average 28 day program without onsite detox ($15,491) then this would raise our price to $19,241- still $8,158 below the average price of a 28 day rehab with onsite detox.

If we take the average cost ($25,166), and divide it by 28 we end up with a daily cost of $898.

What’s interesting about this is that it’s actually $148 higher than the daily cost of a hospital detox.  Hospital detox involve round the clock supervision, and administration of meds, and nurses who check your vital signs at least every 4 hours.  It’s expensive because of the intensity of care, yet such intensity of care surely doesn’t continue throughout a 28 day rehab program.  Detox generally lasts between 3-10 days.  Assuming you get the full 10 days of detox, which is rare, that leaves 18 days without such intense care.  How is an average daily cost of $898 justified?

I should make it known, I’m not listing these prices as some sort of sweeping indictment of the greed in the treatment industry.  If you can afford $25,000 for rehab, and you get your money’s worth out of it (meaning it works to help you reduce or quit your substance use habit to the point that it’s no longer a problem) then that’s $25,000 well spent.  But if you don’t get your money’s worth – that’s a different story.  Unfortunately, most people don’t seem to get their money’s worth.

Note on calculations:  when 2 price levels were offered for the same amount of time in a given facility, I averaged them.  When more than one price level was offered, but there was one listed as “standard”, I chose the standard price for my figures.  Phoenix house was the only facility listed with no price – I assigned it the lowest price which was listed for any other rehab on the list, which was $5,000.  One facility’s price was listed at $58,500 for a minimum 6 month stay, I worked that out to $9,750 for 28 days, but in actuality, this may unfairly lower the average price since a 28 day stay is not available from this rehab.


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