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CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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Milford treatment facility to close

REMUDA EAST EATING DISORDER TREATMENT FACILITY TO CLOSE

Residential behavioral facility closes due to reductions in insurance reimbursement

Milford, VA. – Officials with Remuda East announced plans for the closure of the residential eating disorder behavioral facility located in Milford, Virginia.

The decision follows the reduction of insurance coverage for residential treatment program patients in Virginia. Remuda East is a 48-bed residential behavioral facility focused on the treatment of eating disorders in women and young females.

The closure is expected at the end of March with the discharge of the last patient.

A number of factors are impacting the sustainability of residential behavioral programs like Remuda East.  Most significantly, starting in January 2011, fewer patients have residential benefits as part of their insurance coverage, including those with Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield, a major payor in the state of Virginia, which eliminated coverage.

“This was not an easy decision for the leadership of Remuda East to make,” said Mark Bowers, executive director of Remuda East. “Insurance companies are playing a more active role in determining the levels of care we are able to provide to eating disorder patients, including eliminating, denying and severely limiting coverage for treatment in a residential setting.”

Additionally, because of economic conditions, fewer individuals have the financial resources to seek care as private pay patients.

Despite Remuda’s efforts, the combination of reduced reimbursement rates from insurance companies, fewer patients with residential treatment benefits, and fewer patients with the ability to seek care on their own has resulted in an inadequate number of patients and financial resources to sustain the facility’s operations.

“We have spent the past year exploring a variety of ways we can continue to serve our Remuda East patients at the highest level, but ultimately, no matter how efficiently and effectively we treat our patients, reimbursement is being eliminated,” added Bowers.

The last patients have been admitted to the Remuda East for treatment which is typically a 30-day program.  Any new patients are being referred to the Remuda Ranch facility in

Wickenburg, Arizona to explore treatment options there.  Remuda Ranch will continue its 20-year tradition of providing treatment for patients and families suffering from eating disorders. Remuda Ranch is licensed in Arizona as an inpatient behavioral health facility and is covered by most insurance programs.

“While a decision like this is not easy, it is necessary, and we are committed to working with each and every patient at Remuda, and their families, to continue to provide them with the highest quality care, attention, assistance and support during their treatment process and follow up,” said Bowers.

Remuda East’s 73 employees will remain on the payroll with full benefits through May 14, 2011, and leadership will work with each employee to assist them through the transition process and with their search for new employment.

More information can be found at www.remudaranch.com.

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