Small Biz: New outpatient substance abuse facility opens in East Brainerd

Small Biz: New outpatient substance abuse facility opens in East Brainerd

September 7th, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Around the Region

The new Chattanooga location of the Cumberland Heights Outpatient Services employes three people and opened in late August.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

CUMBERLAND HEIGHTS CHATTANOOGA

What: Outpatient substance abuse services

Where: 6650 East Brainerd Road, Suite 102

Contact: 423-308-0689

Source: Cumberland Heights

A new outpatient facility offering substance abuse treatment has opened in Chattanooga.

Cumberland Heights, a drug and alcohol treatment center with a residential campus in Nashville, is expanding into Chattanooga with an outpatient facility in East Brainerd. It's the organization's seventh location in Tennessee and the first in East Tennessee.

"We've had a lot of patients in the Chattanooga area who have gone to our treatment inpatient program in Nashville, and this will better serve our former patients and potential patients in the Chattanooga area," said Bob Fairweather, clinical outreach coordinator for the Chattanooga area.

Cumberland Heights signed a five-year lease on a 3,000-square-foot space in the Executive Hills Office Building at 6650 East Brainerd Road. The Chattanooga location employs three people and can accommodate as many as 20 patients and their families at one time.

The facility will offer an adult program that includes four three-hour sessions per week, and eventually Cumberland Heights plans to offer youth programs at the site.

Fairweather hopes to keep a census of about 20 patients a week at Cumberland Heights Chattanooga, which is not part of the TennCare network. Patients either have insurance coverage or self pay.

The drug and alcohol treatment center is the second new outpatient facility to open in Chattanooga in as many weeks. The Mental Health Cooperative of Middle Tennessee opened Sept. 3 and offers psychiatric and psychological services to patients on TennCare or patients without insurance.

The new facilities are a sign that the health care industry is gearing up for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, said Kenneth Broyles, owner at Broyles and Associates Insurance Made Simple.

"Under the Affordable Care Act, all of the [insurance] plans will include mental health care," he said. "There's going to be more facilities needed because there will be more people who have coverage where they didn't have coverage before."

The Affordable Care Act will require that all new small group or individual insurance policies cover both mental health and substance abuse services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Currently, about one-third of Americans in the individual market are not covered for substance use disorder services, and about 20 percent are not covered for mental health services.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates about 62.5 million people will either gain substance use disorder and mental health coverage for the first time, or will gain more extensive coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com.