On October 24, 2018, President Drumpf signed the H.R.6 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law aimed at ensuring California drug rehabs stay ethical and providing a range of new funding options and federal resources aimed at substance abuse treatment. The Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act* introduced by Representative Steve Knight has several provisions included with H.R.6 that ensure criminal penalties for any entity caught in any type of kickback scheme or patient brokering involving addiction treatment.
These kickback systems exist to exploit people in need of addiction treatment services by keeping them trapped in a cycle of addiction and treatment. Call centers collect information and then refer patients to unscrupulous or fraudulent treatment centers after selling their insurance information and personal data to the highest bidders. H.R.6 aims to curb these practices and ensure harsh criminal punishments for those involved in them.
Important Elements Of H.R.6
The new anti-kickback law prevents addiction treatment providers from brokering patients to secure kickbacks from housing assistance programs and aftercare programs following rehab. The new law encourages ethical practices in addiction treatment so patients receive a higher level of care with fewer chances of suffering exploitation at the hands of profit-driven recovery centers. For example, a call center or substance abuse resource center that collects patient information and refers them to appropriate centers may receive financial incentives for referring patients to certain centers. This creates an unethical incentive for these centers to refer patients to whoever pays the most for the patients’ data; not the centers that offer the best possible treatment.
The new H.R.6 law also aims to place stricter regulations on pharmaceutical companies that manufacture addictive medications, such as prescription opioids. Prescription opioid painkillers have been the leading cause of accidental drug overdose deaths in the United States for over a decade, and the government now intends to hold pharmaceutical manufacturers accountable for dangerous and exploitative business practices that contribute to the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Stopping Patient Brokering
One of the most disturbing practices to recently come to light is “patient brokering.” This practice entails call centers that collect caller information – including insurance details – and then selling that data to the highest bidding addiction treatment centers with the caller having no idea his or her information had been sold. Instead of connecting to a substance abuse treatment center the caller could reasonably afford, call centers refer patients to treatment centers that bid the most for access to their insurance coverage.
Cracking Down On Unethical Treatment Centers
Unfortunately, many addiction treatment centers throughout the country have taken advantage of patients in pursuit of profits. By keeping patients trapped in repeated cycles of addiction, treatment, and relapse, these substance abuse treatment centers increase their profits and have a steady revenue stream. Similar to drug dealers, unethical treatment centers thrive on addiction and even encourage it to protect their income. Finding a safe alcohol rehab in California was difficult prior to the signing of H.R.6, as many rehab centers “recycled” patients to increase profits, offered substandard treatment, and generally took advantage of people in desperate need of substance abuse treatment.
Finding An Ethical Treatment Center
Avoiding rehab services involved in drug rehab kickbacks is just one reason to be very discerning when searching for an addiction treatment center; there are also several other things you should look for before agreeing to any treatment services. H.R.6’s passing ensured the creation of new comprehensive opioid addiction treatment centers for integrated recovery support services, and finding a center that offers this level of treatment is crucial to recovery.
Proper Credentials And Certifications
H.R.6 also ensures criminal penalties for treatment centers that do not have adequate certifications and credentials and those that perform unacceptable treatments. When searching for a California rehab center, thoroughly research your candidates to ensure their staff is compliant with the new laws and have the appropriate credentials for the type of services you expect. New federal guidelines also set forth the expectation of recovery housing after rehab as well as tools for combatting exploitative or fraudulent recovery housing schemes.
Some addiction treatment centers offer specialized areas of service, such as holistic therapy, legal counseling, debt counseling, dialectical behavioral therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, and more. It is essential to verify the credentials behind these offered services to ensure the treatment center can adequately deliver on promises made about the level of treatment offered to patients.
There is no single solution to addiction; every person and every type of addiction demands a different approach. A good substance abuse treatment center should offer comprehensive and individually tailored treatment plans specific to each patient’s unique needs. For example, the treatment plan for a 17-year-old with a heroin addiction will be very different from the plan for a 65-year-old suffering from alcoholism. The treatment path for a person who suffers from cocaine addiction and depression will be very different from one for a person who abuses benzodiazepines due to high anxiety.
A treatment center should take the time to carefully evaluate each patient from the intervention through the intake process to determine their unique needs. Failing to address co-occurring disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression will invariably lead to incomplete treatment or relapse after treatment; it is essential to address the whole person and all of his or her issues simultaneously with a comprehensive treatment plan.
Relapse Prevention And Post-Rehab Care
A good treatment center should also offer some type of continuing care for after rehab. Suddenly returning to “normal” life after weeks or months in rehab can be a jarring and startling experience for many newly recovered individuals, and they often require ongoing support to avoid triggers and stressors and implement the coping techniques learned in rehab.
Searching for a rehab center is a difficult process, and Emerge And See is a trusted resource for those in need of addiction treatment and support services. We offer a full range of addiction treatment services from intervention support to ongoing care after rehab. Learn more about the services we offer.