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Inspiring Conversations with Jeffrey Zipper of iRecoveryUSA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Zipper.

Hi Jeffrey, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
After completing my advanced medical specialty training, I opened my first medical office in 1991, in Delray Beach, FL. I practiced Interventional Pain Management and over the years my practice grew into one of the largest Interventional Pain Management Companies, with facilities throughout the State of Florida. In 2004, I became concerned with the proliferation of “pain clinics” throughout the State of Florida. In fact, over a two-year period 20 new “pain clinics” opened in Delray Beach, FL. alone! Interestingly, I knew none of the physicians’ names and they weren’t located near our medical community and hospital. This was my first indication that something was awry in our specialty, hence the birth of “pill mills” in Florida. During this time of tumult in the medical community, I was serving as President of the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine, and worked with the Florida Legislature in crafting what became known as the “pill mill” bill to put an end to these unregulated “cash pay only” criminal organizations.

During discussions with legislators the medical community became concerned with the number of addicted patients that may be forced to start taking heroine, as a cheap alternative to feeding their addiction when these organizations were shuttered. Unfortunately, there was little legislative concern or resources directed toward that looming problem at the time. Within two years after passage of Florida’s “pill mill” bill, a Heroine epidemic ensued. Being a Pain Management physician, I always had a keen interest in the differences between physical and psychological addiction to pain medications and why some patients developed the latter while others didn’t. Upon the sale of my company in 2012, I became more interested in the treatment of Substance Use Disorder (SUD). I contemplated opening an in-patient residential drug treatment facility, however at that time the industry was in flux, corruption was ripe and patient brokering was rampant. In addition, relapse and overdose death rates post abstinence based residential treatment were all too commonplace.

I began to realize that the current abstinence-based treatment model for SUD was very expensive, resource intensive, stigmatized and disruptive to family life obligations. Furthermore, outcomes for long term sobriety and recovery were poor. I proceeded to study about different treatment options for SUD and have come to believe that Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the most effective and logical solution to providing treatment for the physical components of addiction, such as drug cravings and withdrawals. Once the physical cravings and compulsion to use drugs are under control the psychological component of the disease can be addressed with the therapist while the patient is in a more normalized neuro-psychological state. It wasn’t until President Trump declared a National Emergency for Opioid Abuse and congress passed the Support for Communities Act of 2018; that my vision of providing private, affordable, accessible, and destigmatized treatment for patients suffering with SUD could be realized. This bill provided Medicare and Medicaid funding for physician-based outpatient telehealth MAT and therapy services. So, I decided to move forward in building a national outpatient telemedical SUD medical practice dedicated to serving historically underserved populations in Medicaid and Medicare programs. The birth of iRecovery.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The greatest challenge in getting iRecoveryUSA up and running had to do with facility licensing, obtaining JACHO accreditation and navigating the morass of insurance contracting rules and credentialing of our providers.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
iRecoveryUSA is a “Virtual” 100% Telemedical based multi-specialty physician group practice specializing in the treatment of substance use disorder. Our physicians are board certified in addiction medicine, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine. We work collaboratively with our treatment team colleagues including psychologists, social workers (LCSW’s) and mental health counselors (LMHC’S) to provide medication assisted treatment and counseling for patients suffering with drug or alcohol abuse and other co-occurring mental health issues. iRecoveryUSA’s telemedical health care platform was conceptually designed to treat the medical and psychological needs of patients suffering with alcohol and/or opioid use disorder. We do this from the comfort of home, work or anywhere there is internet connectivity on our secure videoconferencing platform. We have the ability to manage medications, provide therapy and monitor the patient while at home. We are most proud of our social mission to “democratize” the treatment of substance use disorder to the historically underserved populations of Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I have been blessed to have my physician father as a mentor throughout my life. He along with my wife and kids have served as my greatest supporters and cheerleaders. I also have the pleasure of building this organization from the ground up with two of my sons. Harrison Zipper an attorney, who serves as our Chief Operating Officer and Jared Zipper, LCSW our Collaborative Care Coordinator.

Pricing:

  • The cost for attending 6 months under our care for those without insurance coverage is approx. $5,000.00. Literally 25% the cost of attending a 30 day residential treatment rpogram.

Contact Info:

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