Real estate developers are working with health care providers and state and local governments to open more addiction recovery centers, psychiatric facilities and other behavioral health clinics to meet growing demand, The New York Times reports.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the United States had about 142,400 inpatient psychiatric and residential treatment beds in 2014, down from almost 559,000 inpatient psychiatric beds in 1955. According to Acadia Healthcare, which runs 246 behavioral health facilities in the U.S., the country needs at least 75,000 more beds to meet projected needs.
Some senior housing, skilled-nursing facilities and other properties are being turned into behavioral health clinics.
It can take an average of two and a half years to open an addiction treatment facility, according to Landmark Recovery, an addiction treatment provider based in Franklin, Tenn. In some cases, neighbors are resisting the effort to have these facilities in their area, the article notes. Even after facilities are approved and built, they can sit empty for months while operators wait for state licenses.
Much of the investment in these new facilities comes from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which required insurers to pay for treating mental health conditions including addiction in the same way they paid for physical health care. In addition, more people began seeking mental health care as the stigma associated with it subsided.