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Letters | Looking for ways out of heroin epidemic

Crimp in funding strains addiction recovery services

RE “Heroin epidemic reveals detox gap” (Page A1, March 15): Laura Crimaldi’s article on the heroin epidemic exposes the flawed methodology inherent in the reimbursement structure for statewide substance-abuse recovery homes.

For years, the programs spread across the Commonwealth have been operating under a byzantine state contract formula where care providers are only reimbursed for 63 percent of all admissions.

In addition, no managed care entity in Massachusetts has yet been willing to fill the gap in funding. Yet these entities benefit when their neediest members receive our long-term residential treatment services.

This year, because of this unaffordable and unsustainable system Victory Programs made the difficult business decision to convert a 20-bed Boston site zoned as a group residence for recovering addicts to new transitional services for homeless mothers and children. We are considering ending long-term residential addiction services at two other Boston sites as well.


Our state legislators are in the position to correct the system’s problems and create a healthier, more sustainable residential addiction treatment program.

The heroin epidemic is only getting bigger. It is time to add capacity, not reduce it.

Jonathan D. Scott
President and CEO
Victory Programs Inc.