For nearly 40 years, Bear Valley Community Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital, has provided easy-access emergency medical and acute care to a small population in San Bernardino County. While the hospital offers an array of diverse services, leadership identified the need to expand its behavioral health capabilities – specifically a medical detox program for patients in need of substance abuse treatment.
Bear Valley Community Hospital sits in an isolated area of California with limited healthcare options, particularly for behavioral health. At the time, there was only one other medical detox program for substance abuse treatment in San Bernardino, the largest county in California, that accepts Medi-Cal. Patients would often drive at least an hour for help, typically to an ER rather than a dedicated detox to initiate their treatment. Bear Valley engaged Octave Leadership Advisory Services in January 2021 to improve access to care and develop a medical detox program designed to serve the community’s specific needs.
Octave Leadership Advisory Services
Octave’s strategy to develop a medical detox program from scratch included numerous components, from financial structuring to operational tactics.
The implementation plan included:
- Policies and procedures,
- Marketing and promotions,
- Coordination with all hospital departments,
- Bi-monthly meetings with leadership,
- Nursing/Admin staff hires,
- Education services,
- Patient intake hotline,
- Medication order sets, lab sets, and forms,
- Updates to pharmacy medication formulary,
- Coordination with the San Bernadino County Department of Behavioral Health for transfer and transportation to residential facilities, and
- Data tracking and analytics.
In just two months after the engagement began, Bear Valley accepted its first detox patient. In the program’s first three months, Bear Valley treated dozens of patients with average stays of 3-7 days. The program accepts challenging and complex medical cases, and is overseen by the only Addiction Medicine Specialist in the area – a significant advantage for Bear Valley and its patients.
Bear Valley and Octave have continued working together to explore plans to align with the program’s growth, including increasing staff and improving reimbursement. Not only is Bear Valley leadership satisfied, but the program has met the community’s dire need for a local treatment option.
“Bear Valley Community Healthcare District has experienced great success with implementing the medical stabilization program. We are excited to offer this much-needed program to our community while also expanding our service lines, creating opportunities for our staff to grow, and supporting the financial strength of the hospital. Since the program launched, we have seen a much higher than anticipated patient volume and tremendous interest and support from our community. Octave has been instrumental in guiding and assisting us to develop protocols that are compliant with leading industry standards such as patient recruitment, marketing, setting policies, understanding the market and reimbursements. We look forward to expanding this program in cooperation with our partnership with Octave.”John Friel
Bear Valley Community Health District