Calling for help if you or your loved one is suffering from addiction can be quite a challenge. Many families wait until they reach a moment of crisis before they reach out for help. It’s also not easy to know whom to call. Unfortunately, not everybody who advertises addiction treatment has your best interest at heart. Some players are more excited about getting their hands on your money than they are concerned about the success of your recovery.
So-called patient brokering has been a problem for some time. It is the act of trading patients to treatment programs in exchange for money or perks. In some cases, an individual approaches a treatment program or sober home with a prospective patient, soliciting a kickback or fee in exchange for the information. In other cases, the program or sober home itself recruits individuals, their own patients, or other programs to send them patients in return for a kickback or fee. Both scenarios are illegal.
Congress Takes Notice
The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce has been examining reports of financial kickbacks for luring vulnerable patients into questionable addiction treatment facilities. In May, bipartisan committee leaders sent letters to eight call aggregators, who play a role in connecting individuals seeking treatment to sober living homes. The letters pose several detailed questions about the business practices of these call aggregators and request information about how their employees are trained and what they disclose to callers about any affiliations with treatment centers.
The letters are the latest step in the committee’s ongoing investigation into patient brokering. “One of the ways that patient brokers can generate leads on potential clients is through phone hotlines that connect to call centers or call aggregators,” wrote the bipartisan committee leaders. “During the course of the Committee’s investigation into patient brokering, the Committee received testimony from the President and CEO of a treatment facility who said call aggregators ‘are essentially collecting leads for treatment centers who are willing to pay a price’ and that the call centers will prescreen potential patients with the goal to ‘ultimately sell the patient’s information to the highest bidder.’”
The committee leaders also wrote, “As the opioid epidemic has ravaged the country, individuals with substance use disorders who are vulnerable and desperately in need of help have continued to search for treatment options. The business of advertising and recruiting for substance use disorder treatment requires greater scrutiny, and those battling addiction deserve a safe and dependable environment when seeking treatment.”
Calling The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place
Going with an agency that sells your information to the highest bidder is patently the wrong way to launch your recovery from addiction. Patients are unlikely to get the treatment they require. You deserve better. People with substance use disorders need to get in touch with experienced addiction professionals who provide a treatment program that addresses the individual needs of patients.
Don’t delay treatment if you experience a substance use problem. Call The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place in Virginia as soon as possible to find out how they can help launch your recovery. If you are a family member concerned about a loved one, you can find out what treatment options are available. When you call, the licensed and experienced admission staff will collect relevant information to help the medical staff decide if The Farley Center is the best treatment option for you.
At The Farley Center, recovery begins with a thorough assessment of the patient, allowing the Farley team to create an individualized treatment plan. Addiction is a complex disease that requires therapies on multiple levels over a considerable timespan. During residential rehab, patients learn how to be sober and address any underlying conditions that may have been driving their substance use disorder. With the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.
The Farley Center and other legitimate treatment providers affiliated with the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) support the current congressional efforts. NAATP’s director of public policy, Mark Dunn, said his organization has been working with the House committee for months. “We have met with committee staff numerous times and a prominent NAATP member CEO testified at one on their public hearings. We support efforts by Congress to identify and address ethical and quality issues in the field. This investigation undertaken by Congress on a bipartisan basis is welcomed by NAATP leadership. The Association has received considerable attention since the enhanced ethics policy for NAATP members has been implemented.”