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Steve Burton, CEO Sheila Moran, Director of Development
Who are we? • First Choice Health Systems, Inc, established in 1995 as a statewide network of behavioral health providers, manages various state contracts • Answered RFP in December 1999 to design and implement a statewide gamblers help program • We have received the contract to provide services to problem gamblers for almost 10 years
West Virginia Facts • YES Virginia, there is a WEST by God! • 75 % of our state is covered by forest • We are the most mountainous state east of the Mississippi
West Virginia Facts • We have the 5th highest poverty rate in the country • If you define ‘rural’ by living outside in a place with less than 50K people, 94% of our population is considered rural • Our population is 1.8 million
Transportation in WV • Subway? That’s a restaurant, right? • Very few people in WV’s rural counties have access to public transportation
Gambling in WV • 1984-Lottery legalized (over 20 years after NH!) • 1994-Slot machines allowed at racetracks (about 12,000 now in operation) • 2001-9,000 video poker machines installed in WV bars and restaurants • 2007-Table games legalized at WV racetracks • All four WV racetracks are now full blown casinos
Understanding Rural Gambling • Case Study: Logan County • 37,000 people • 24% of population below poverty line • 37 mini-casinos operating in the county, each with 5-10 slot machines
Gambling Treatment Funds in WV • Program originally funded at 225K in 2000 • As gambling expanded and our data demonstrated the need for more treatment, our funding increased • Program now funded at 1.6 mil=4th highest per capita gambling treatment funding in US
What does all that mean ? • We faced many big challenges • Spreading the word about the help that is available….and getting people to call us • Remaining gaming neutral in a politically sensitive environment • Finding and training lots of counselors • Structuring an effective treatment program • Demonstrating to decision makers that our program was essential in the midst of budget cuts for other agencies
Many State Gambling Treatment Programs: • Mail information or give caller name and phone number of a nearby counselor or give GA information • Have an estimated rate of callers who are actually seen face-to-face by trained professional of 5% to 10%. • Are not able to pay for treatment or advertising
What About West Virginia? • First helpline in the nation to offer such aggressive, proactive interventions and track comprehensive data • High show-up rates • Asked to present at many local, state and national conference s • Viewed by many as model help-line program • Over 90 trained counselors • Currently 22 network counselors + our helpline staff have national certification
WV Counselor Training • Counselors, social workers and psychologists • Minimum of 30 hours specialized training-most have much more • Quarterly Clinical Supervisions around the state • Advanced/Continuing Education
24-hour Helpline1-800-GAMBLER • Telephone answered by trained clinician • Most are Masters level professionals with national gambling certification • Initial therapeutic intake session completed • Crisis intervention
All Callers offered free two-hour consult • Includes loved ones! • Scheduled while on the line • Goal is within 30 miles of residence • Within 72 hours of call • Referred to other support services and information mailed
During the Consult • Clinician does thorough diagnostic assessment • Develops treatment plan • Refers to other support services • Sends us all the assessment data
Treatment • We offer state funded treatment to any WV resident who cannot pay because: • They don’t have insurance • They have a large deductible • Our trained clinician is not in their “network” • Covers 20 session for gambler; 10 sessions for significant other • Competitive pay rates are essential
Back in Our Office • Pre-appt courtesy call • Post-assessment follow-up • Treatment pre-certification • Treatment reimbursement for non-insured/under-insured • 6-month follow-up • 1-year and 2-year outcomes • Compile data
What Really Makes Us Different • Customer Service!
When our Help-line Rings • We race to the phone • Our HL clients won’t receive voice mail, busy signal, or answering service
When We Answer Help-Line • Always control the conversation • Never answer questions passively • Don’t be afraid to ask questions • “Sell” appointment
Our Results • We get good grades from our clients! • How many organizations even ask for regular feedback?
Our Results • High appointment acceptance rate (up to 80%) • High show up rate (up to 80%)
Our Results • “Recovery” defined as not gambling or significantly decreased gambling • Up to 80% of clients report success at long term follow up
Data • We collect HUNDREDS of pieces of data • We do this without sounding like a telemarketer
Why Is Data Important? • Use to evaluate: • New program services/treatment modes • Treatment techniques • Clinicians • Marketing efforts • Trends
Why Data Matters-Tracking Trends • Geographic trends • Type of gambling trends • Demographic trends • Clinical trends • Rise and fall of call volume • Day and time of most call volume • Tracking repeat callers