Recovery centers should be places of refuge—places where individuals struggling with addiction or dual diagnoses can turn to for compassion and support. Unfortunately, there are reports of some recovery centers that are taking advantage of people in their most vulnerable state in order to extract money from them.
Known as “patient brokering,” this practice often involves rehab facilities paying third parties to obtain patients for them. Some brokers specifically target patients who have the insurance to cover their services and refer them to profit-driven facilities to earn commissions. Because these centers are more concerned about making money than they are about treating their patients, some people never get their medical needs evaluated or aren’t given the evidence-based care and medications they need to get sober. The result is individuals leaving rehab without gaining any of the skills they need to cope with daily life, increasing the risk of relapse.
How Did the Recovery Industry Get Exploitative?
Some addiction experts say that this increase in the number of exploitative rehab centers that extract fees from patients while failing to treat their addictions is owed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA was widely praised at the time because it provided insurance program coverage for people with addiction, making rehab more accessible to millions of Americans as the opioid crisis developed.
Unfortunately, this also had the unintended side effect of motivating rehab centers to exploit patients for their insurance. An NPR story recounted a 2017 investigation involving parents who sent their daughter to South Florida for addiction treatment, only for her to die from an overdose seven months later. The parents’ insurance company was billed $660,000.
Other experts also say that there needs to be more government oversight to enforce medical and professional guidelines and detect the rehab centers with a history of deceptive marketing and recruitment. Because of the ongoing opioid epidemic and rise in addictions related to COVID-19, we can expect some rehab facilities to double their efforts in preying on people in their time of need.
How to Find a Legitimate Addiction Rehab Center
So how can you and your loved ones avoid being taken advantage of? It’s important to look out for the signs of a legitimate and caring treatment facility if you want to have your needs addressed and commit to long-term sobriety.
Some things to look out for in a good rehab center include:
- Certified and vetted team: Does the center boast a team of expert doctors, therapists, and support staff? It’s crucial that you ensure you’ll be treated by medical professionals with demonstrated experience.
- Different programs of varying lengths: Legitimate recovery centers know that each addiction is different and requires different types of approaches, which is why they may offer different recovery programs and services that treat specific addictions. Detox alone is not enough to effectively treat addiction.
- Aftercare services: Getting back to reality after completing rehab is often a daunting experience, but some of the most effective recovery centers will have aftercare services in place to ensure their patients continue to have support, from getting involved with support groups to training family members to care for you.
Call Our LegitScript Certified Center Today
Mount Sinai Wellness Center is committed to giving our patients evidence-based, professionally administered help for their unique substance abuse issues. We’re a LegitScript-monitored facility run by a team of caring and trained doctors and clinicians, all of whom have successfully treated people who have been in your shoes before.
Recover on our 43 acres of peaceful wilderness and take advantage of our beautiful amenities while also feeling at ease knowing our modalities and therapies are proven and backed by research.
Contact Mount Sinai Wellness Center online or by phone at (800) 353-4673 to learn more about our various addiction treatment programs. We treat all kinds of drug and alcohol addictions, as well as co-occurring disorders.