Steamboat Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Center Begins Medicaid Acceptance

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Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat, part of NRT Behavioral HealthTM, now accepts Medicaid insurance plans from Rocky Mountain Health Plans. The ability to utilize Medicaid immediately makes desperately needed, high-quality, comprehensive treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders accessible to heavily impacted people with few local treatment resources.

Individuals and families covered by Rocky Mountain Health Plans can now use their Medicaid plans at the Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat men’s residential program in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and its intensive outpatient telehealth treatment for men and women.

Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat is part of NRT Behavioral Health, a growing behavioral healthcare organization that operates Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat, Chrysalis Continuing Care in Denver, and the Michael Barnes Family Institute, offering telehealth to Colorado and Wyoming residents. NRT Behavioral Health works to expand the availability of its Trauma-Integrated Care, a highly trauma-centered approach to holistic treatment developed by Chief Clinical Officer Michael Barnes, Ph.D., using more than 40 years of research and clinical experience. The Trauma-Integrated Care model emphasizes reducing the risk of retraumatization, identifies and treats underlying trauma and PTSD to make healing and recovery possible, and helps families develop recovery-supportive lifestyles.

Rural communities like those in Colorado’s Western Slope and around the nation struggle with high rates of substance use and mental health disorders and lower access to treatment compared to urban and suburban areas. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rural communities experience 45 percent higher rates of opioid overdoses per capita than urban areas. Methamphetamine and misuse of multiple substances, such as alcohol in combination with other substances, also plague rural communities disproportionally. Suicide is another problem affecting these communities. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the suicide rate in rural communities has risen twice as high as in metro areas in recent years. A lack of addiction and mental health treatment in rural areas compounds the problem.

Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat outreach representatives Amanda Buckner and Amber King are rural Colorado natives who have been spearheading efforts to make treatment more accessible and reduce the stigma associated with addictive disorders. Buckner, King, and their colleagues began hosting virtual conferences for therapists and other mental health stakeholders in Colorado communities. These meetings, which aim to connect professionals and share resources and practices, have begun yielding results. Some attendees report that community members are starting support groups, and others see people speaking more openly about behavioral and mental health problems and seeking help.

“When you grow up in rural communities like the ones we were raised in, substance misuse can be a very normal part of life. Whether people become dependent on pain medications after getting injured on physically demanding jobs or use alcohol and other substances to fit in or self-medicate anxiety, depression, and loneliness, substance use can go unnoticed or even be encouraged,” says King. “We’re starting to see some changes for the better,” says Buckner. “The rural community I am from believes in ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.’” Finding empathy for fear, stress, or even grieving can be hard. Many still believe mental health and substance use disorders are personal weaknesses and that people are generally ‘fine’ unless they become unemployed or go to jail. But after years of losing so many loved ones to addiction and suicide, communities like mine are becoming more open to talking about trauma, and people in recovery are coming forward. We have a long way to go but see growing compassion, willingness to get treatment, and hope.”

The ability of Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat to accept Medicaid plans from Rocky Mountain Health can profoundly improve treatment availability. “Western Slope communities have some of the highest need and lowest recovery capital,” says Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat Chief Operating Officer and NRT Behavioral Health Partner Tom Walker. “Our goal is to make accessing the high-quality, coordinated treatment services people need as easy as possible, and becoming a Rocky Mountain Health Plans provider represents a major leap forward. The negative effects of addiction, which can include trauma, alienation, and comorbid medical problems, can be amplified when they are allowed to persist, as is sometimes the case for people who live in rural communities. These individuals are experiencing the worst effects of the disease of addiction and need significant services. Our program is staffed by exceptionally experienced clinical leaders and provides high-quality treatment, trauma-informed therapies, family programming, psychiatric prescribing and medication management, aftercare planning, and alumni services that can help increase the odds of lasting recovery. Now that we are able to work with families using Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a very high quality of care is now far more accessible.”

In addition to Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat is also in-network with major insurance plans. If you or a loved one would like to learn more, contact them at (844) 955-1066 or visit

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