First impressions are great and very comforting for family members and patients alike. The accommodations and food are first rate. The staff also seem very professional and caring ... initially.
I urged my adult daughter to admit herself as she had broken down under the weight of her depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction, which she has been struggling with for years despite having participated in many other local treatment centers in the past (Aurora Hospital, Sovereign Health (beware!), PsyCare and Lasting Recovery).
After about a week of residential treatment, the usual song and dance between the provider and the insurance company started (which I cannot fault Casa Palmera for as it seems to be a systemic problem) with my daughter being subject to increased anxiety, not knowing from one day to the next if she was going to be stepped down from residential to the day program before she felt ready.
During family week, I attended two family sessions with my daughter and her therapist. I witnessed a complete breakdown of the patient-therapist relationship, which my daughter had previously felt very positive about, with the therapist shutting down in apparent frustration with my daughter's continued denial in regards to her addiction and reacting with negative verbal feedback and a noticeably negative physical demeanor, while denying she was doing so. After that, the therapist failed to show up for the group session in which my daughter shared her addiction history as part of her 12-Step process, and stopped seeing my daughter. Although they provided her with another therapist after about a week, they also stepped her down to the partial hospitalization program (PHP) at the same time. Meanwhile, they had opened up a lot of past traumas with her and not yet fully processed them. Not surprisingly, she promptly relapsed after leaving residential treatment.
They gave her no practical assistance in dealing with one of the primary contributing factors to her anxiety and depression, which was the financial crises that had escalated with her symptoms. The didn't help her or even advise her on her option of applying for state disability or food stamps so that she would have some means of getting on her feet upon her discharge.They provided no counseling on how she could address the multiple debts she had accrued and that were awaiting her upon her discharge. This despite the fact I had made it clear to them when she was admitted that she needed to be prepared for the fact that she was not going to receive further financial assistance or housing from us upon her discharge.
Despite 2 relapses, they stepped her down to the intensive outpatient program (IOP) in less than 3 weeks. She was an emotional mess when she started IOP, paralyzed by anxiety and depression and feeling unable to take any steps forward with her life without triggering a panic attack. I had to step in and help her set up appointments with her outside psychiatrist and psychologist because Casa Palmera hadn't even ensured these were in place before stepping her down. I also had to step in and help her sign up for state disability and food stamps, which she was eligible for and subsequently approved for. It is very difficult to take a firm stand against providing further help to an adult child with an addiction when they also have mental illness issues and the providers fail to provide meaningful assistance to the patient.
Within a few days of starting IOP, she relapsed again. When she asked to be readmitted to the residential program on a Friday, they told her she would have to wait until Monday morning to come in. I brought her in with her suitcase. She met with one of the admission person, who assured her they could help her. However, after the admission person went back to speak with the CEO, the head of the clinical program, and the head of admissions, she came back out and told us they would not admit her to residential treatment. Initially, she indicated it was because insurance would not approve it, but when repeatedly pressed, she admitted that they had not contacted insurance for authorization and were not going to do so.
When my daughter showed up for IOP that evening, they told her she was also kicked out of the IOP program, which they had not told us at the morning meeting.
Certainly she presented treatment challenges; that goes with addiction and the type of mood and personality disorders she has. However if that was their reason for kicking her out, they never said so and should have.
It seems apparent that their decisions were guided by financial concerns. The fact is that once we paid them the $4,500 for her deductible and maximum out-of-pocket for the year, they were receiving far less from per treatment day under the contracted rate with our insurance provider than they could receive for someone else who had not yet met their deductible and out-of-pocket or who could afford to pay the full rate without any insurance.