Landmark Recovery Revamps Benefits Strategy, Launches Program to Provide Earnings and Career Growth Transparency to Workforce

Among the litany of concerns that continue to offer no relief for behavioral health providers is that of workforce shortages.

It is estimated that over a third of the country lives in areas with behavioral health provider shortages. In the absence of a unified industry strategy to tackle the problem, some like addiction treatment provider Landmark Recovery are attempting to do so with unique strategies of their own.

“We have been struggling … with recruitment,” Landmark CEO Matt Boyle told Behavioral Health Business. “It’s a very tight workforce, and we’ve seen the time to fill positions definitely increase. Like everyone else in the health care industry, we do suffer from higher turnover than in other industries.”


Recognizing the need to bring and keep more workers on at the multi-state provider of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services, Landmark has unveiled the “Escalator Program.” The program is designed to give employees insight about their earning potential with the provider, while also presenting them with financial resources meant to make long-term careers at Landmark more attractive.

The program began rolling out on New Year’s Day, and among its features is a time horizon that gives employees an overview of what they will be making over periods of time — such as in six months, a year and two years.

Employees receive an increase in pay and benefits after the six month, one-year and two-year periods, with increases after two years coming at their manager’s discretion. All employees in the same job role will be paid the same rate based on their tenure at Landmark. Additionally, the pay rates are adjusted based on the cost of living of each employee’s location.


Overall, the program aims to promote stability by providing workers with transparency about their future wages.

“When I started talking to employees, I learned that people value predictability almost as much — if not more — than they value their actual paycheck,” Boyle said. “Telling someone, ‘Hey, you’ll get a raise a year from now,’ doesn’t do anyone any good and it doesn’t factor into their calculus of staying or leaving. Most people who work for a company, as opposed to being an entrepreneur, really value that certainty.”

That certainty also brings with it competitive wages, according to Boyle. He said that when the Escalator Program begins its rollout, the lowest paid employees at Landmark will earn $16 an hour, which would increase to $20 an hour after two years. The figure would be higher than the scheduled 2022 hourly minimum wage of each of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

“In light of the fact that we’re dealing with [7.5%] inflation in the economy, there is very real wage uncertainty,” Boyle said. “It’s hard to make ends meet.”

Franklin, Tennessee-based Landmark — which is a holding company under Simsbury Associates — operates private insurance and self-pay centers in Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. The provider also operates centers for Medicaid-insured patients in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

“Everyone who works at Landmark Recovery for at least two years will have a minimum wage of $20 an hour, which at that point in most of the markets that we’re in is a pretty livable wage,“ Boyle said. “You’re able to afford rent, you’re able to have a little bit of spending money and have some money for your kids.”

The Escalator Program is also designed to attract college students looking to develop careers in SUD treatment. After six months, employees become eligible to receive $5,000 per year towards the cost of student loan payment — an option that comes with no lifetime cap.

Boyle estimated that the repayment benefit, on average, is over $400 more than the monthly payment one makes toward their college loans.

“We’re really helping people make a dent in the cost of education, whether that’s for our nurses, therapists or our nurse practitioners,” he said. “That’s just another way that we’re taking some of that financial pressure off of them.”

The Escalator Program will also oversee Landmark’s contribution to employee health savings accounts. After one year on the job, employees will start receiving monthly health savings payments from Landmark. The payments, over the course of a year, will total up to half of an employee’s out-of-pocket care costs.

Along with health savings account payments, the Escalator Program will further provide matching 401(k) payments of 4% to the dollar for employees who have been on the job for a year.

“We’re paying for your student loans, we’re being very generous about your health insurance and we’re contributing towards your retirement,” Boyle said. “Those are really the three things that middle class people really struggle with.”

To Boyle’s knowledge, no other employer in the addiction treatment space has a similar program for employees. However, he believes that in the goal to recruit and retain workers for addiction treatment jobs, the program could one day become the industry norm.

“I welcome other competitors doing something similar, because it’s good for the workers,” he said. “If it starts to become more of a norm, it just starts to attract more talent to get into this industry, which can only be a good thing for us.”

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