A White Paper by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Caron Treatment Centers From a medical model perspective, a Center of Excellence (COE) is defined as an organization that demonstrates leadership and the highest clinical quality in a field of specialized treatment. This definition by nature includes not only leadership but also demonstrated best practices, progressive treatment modalities, a solid infrastructure, utilization of a personalized team approach that includes both the patient and family, staff development, and academic research that generates outcomes guiding not only best treatment practices but also measures quality. Increasing the quality of addiction treatment is now more critical than ever. At present, the addiction treatment industry is fragmented with no consistent operating principles or regulatory requirements. Some states require no regulation, which leaves treatment centers unaccountable for the services they provide. In addition, the industry is seeing an upswing in for-profit centers that offer exclusive, spa-like environments that "guarantee" success, but offer little in the way of evidence-based treatment or demonstrated outcomes. Two leading non-profit organizations, Caron Treatment Centers and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, co-authored this article to outline criteria necessary for an addiction treatment provider to qualify as a Center of Excellence. We hope this begins a national dialogue around this important issue and leads to further action in establishing a clearinghouse to identify the industry's centers of excellence.