Ownership and performance of outpatient substance abuse treatment centers

J. R.C. Wheeler, H. Fadel, T. A. D'Aunno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Little is known about the organization and performance of outpatient substance abuse treatment (OSAT) centers. We examine several performance measures of OSAT units, including clients treated, services provided, revenue sources, financial performance, and access to care, in relation to ownership of the center. Methods. Data were drawn from a national random sample of 575 OSAT centers (85.8% response rate) participating in a telephone survey conducted in 1988. Analysis of variance by ownership was conducted on each performance measure, with differences subjected to tests of statistical significance. Results. Descriptive results show that major funding sources differ by ownership. Private for-profit centers generate higher profits, charge higher prices, and achieve higher levels of financial performance than public and not-for-profit centers. Public centers provide better access to care for persons who are unable to pay. Conclusions. There appear to be substantial and interrelated differences by ownership type in the financing and operation of OSAT units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-718
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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