Congressional Patient Brokering Investigation Reveals New Standards for Addiction Treatment Industry
Why Is Patient Brokering Bad for Consumers?
There are myriad third-party referral services that have historically either directed those in need of substance abuse treatment to care providers or sold leads to those providers for a fee. In many cases, employees of call centers and referral services have received commissions and bonuses for referring those in need of addiction treatment to certain care providers. This is known as patient brokering.
Unfortunately, many people who reach out to a drug treatment referral service for help are often already unsure about the sort of care they need, whether certain care providers have the appropriate licensure, and how their information will be handled. Many addiction treatment centers and referral services have purchased access to potential patients’ information, lucratively manipulating their lack of knowledge.
However, as of July 24, 2018, there are positive changes happening in the substance abuse treatment industry that will prevent future patient brokering.
NAATP Director Ventrell Explains Justification for Ethics Code Revisions
While being interviewed by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Marvin Ventrell, Executive Director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), explained the rationale behind the Association’s new ethics code revisions, which went into effect on January 1, 2018. The revisions are intended to combat patient brokering and unethical conduct by substance abuse treatment providers and third-party referral services, such as hotlines.
Ventrell stated that the revisions explicitly define and forbid patient brokering by any NAATP member organization.
The Association’s new code of ethics also forbids misrepresentation by care providers of their licensing and accreditation. Ventrell commented on the unreasonable burden such misrepresentation creates for consumers, stating, “It is difficult enough for the consumer to understand what they need. When the provider misrepresents or does not adequately display precisely what they are licensed or accredited for, the consumer can’t know what they are getting.”
Ventrell called this lack of regulation “extremely dangerous” for people seeking treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
Director Ventrell further elaborated on the NAATP’s choice to revise its code of ethics by explaining the most prevalent and widespread problem addressed by the changes: “unbranded or inadequately branded sites.”
This revision forced 24 parent companies out of the Association. Ventrell justified the removal of these companies, stating, “The ability to somehow investigate and determine, ultimately, that [these sites are] connected to a provider is simply not adequate,” and calling it “an issue of transparency.”
Decision Point Center Complies with the NAATP’s New Standards
As revealed in Ventrell’s testimony, many addiction treatment operations engage in unlawful patient brokering to make a profit off people in need of help—but not at Decision Point Center.
Our Arizona addiction treatment center is a current member of the NAATP and meets all the standards set forth by the Association’s code of ethics. We do not now, nor have we ever purchased leads from a third-party referral service or otherwise engaged in patient brokering. You will always find properly displayed proof of accreditation and licensing on our website and throughout our facility, as well as a wealth of information regarding the sort of treatment we are licensed to provide.
When you call Decision Point Center, you will be directly connected to a member of our care team, not a third-party service or call center. We are committed to protecting your privacy at all times and ensuring you receive the care you need. Connect with us today to learn how we keep your information safe and how we can help you access the Arizona drug rehabilitation and treatment you need.
Call (844) 292-5010 or contact us to speak to a member of our team.