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The capacity of care already in place at local treatment centers is a topic worth examining. This list of facilities was provided by the Washington State Healthcare Authority and was confirmed by telephone. All facilities are actively accepting clients as of January, 2020
The Developer opposes local care, stating it is not affordable. Let us look more closely at that statement because the details tell a different story.
Two distinctions can be made between MAT programs - Does it dispense methadone or not? A local doctor's office can dispense MAT without methadone. These offices show that indeed a small clinic or single practitioner can affordably provide this treatment. Certification is provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the barriers are low.
Local clinics can also make referrals for any other care needed - counseling or dentist, for example. This can be done at a much lower cost than the Developers receive.
But a methadone clinic is different and must be federally approved. These are generally fewer and far between, more costly to operate, less used, and come with additional certifications, endorsements and security measures. Our local and State Health Departments and the Federal Government have approved Baymark Health Services in Port Angeles to dispense methadone in this region.
With the obvious abundance of MAT capacity available, there is no need for an additional methadone clinic in Sequim. Indeed there may be a negative competitive effect if the Developers opened their facility so close by.
Baymark does not enjoy the same publicly funded fee structure the Developers have. They are funded the same way most medical clinics are, through State medicaid and private insurance at a much lower rate.
The Developers have an unfair advantage, receiving about $142,000 per person paid for by taxpayers. It would negatively impact Baymark, a legitimate methadone clinic, with a much more reasonable fee structure, less than 20 miles away.
Another question to consider - Would a second methadone clinic in this region encourage drug treatment commuters to displace and relocate?
Will that impact their lives?
Will that impact Sequim?