California drug rehabs inpatient, residential and outpatient treatment centers are starting to feel the pain of new patient brokering laws and it’s only going to get worse. Learning from history is one of the most valuable tools in life. What California is now experiencing in drug rehab marketing legislation, Florida has been through. Florida with it’s “new Florida model” has set the pace for patient brokering laws in the drug and alcohol addiction treatment industry.
California Drug Rehabs New Laws Affecting Marketing
California drug rehabs and drug rehabilitation centers across the US have been operating unethically for many years. The heroin epidemic has exposed many fraudulent practices in this 40 billion dollar a year industry. Lawmakers are making their way across the nation with patient brokering laws to save lives and protect the vulnerable. The new laws in California are going to directly affect the ability to operate in the state if they are operating unethically. To survive the difficult changes in behavioral healthcare centers need to adopt a healthy business and marketing mix.
California Drug Rehabs Inpatient, Residential and Outpatient Need Proven Business and Marketing Strategies
Inpatient, residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment centers in California are finding it more difficult to operate. All the centers are not playing by the rules. This is a time for ethical operators to work together to clean up the industry. Without unity many ethical operators with fall. We have seen this happen in Florida when their new laws were put into place about a year and a half ago. This is clear if you look at the governing body of California drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. The California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) website displays a Temporary Suspension Order, Revoked and Notice of Operation in Violation of Law Program List. This list has 84 substance abuse treatment centers.
California substance abuse treatment centers and sober livings are going to have to adopt ethical business and marketing practices to survive. They need to look at and understand what happened in Florida over the past 1-1/2 years to navigate the new and difficult landscape. Some ethical treatment centers in Florida were forced to close their doors. Whether California drug rehabs are operating ethically or participating in some form of patient brokering, they must adopt new business and marketing strategies. Digital Darwinism is the #1 reason these centers have failed. Substance abuse facilities across the nation are losing the battle between drug rehab SEO vs digital Darwinism.
Florida Addiction Conferences Providing Ethical and Proven Strategies Coming to California
In Florida, many substance abuse treatment centers received ethical and proven business strategies at 14 EMP (Ethical Marketing Practices) Addiction Executive Conferences. This addiction conferences EMP Series held an event in Costa Mesa, California on 1/22/19. This behavioral health conference was not the typical conference offered in the industry. It was heavily attended by California CEO’s and Executives with over 175 in attendance. It provided a unique talk show host and town hall forum with no powerpoint presentations. The event featured 8 proven, Executive Thought Leaders on a panel.
They were asked several questions by the host, and then the event was a huge mastermind in an open forum. The event is structured for CEO, Executives, Directors, and Outreach to get ethical and proven business and marketing solutions that they can put into place immediately. This California premiere event is Co-hosted by Awakenings drug rehabs Agoura Hills. Awakenings is an intensive outpatient drug addiction treatment center that also specializes in behavioral health issues.
What Are the Patient Brokering Laws for California Drug Rehabs?
Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) signed the SB 1228, Lara. Alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment services: referrals law on September 27, 2018. This law demonstrates that California will no longer tolerate patient brokering by substance use disorder treatment centers and individual’s partaking in unethical marketing. Lawmakers still have much work to do with sober homes and enforcing the new laws. Sober homes legislation will hit California even harder as it did in Florida. These new laws should be adopted mid to late 2019.
While California used Florida laws to mold their legislation, it has some more severe ramifications that deter unethical practices. For instance, under the law, either the addiction treatment center or individual professional can have their license or credentials revoked, extended or denied. If a substance use disorder (SUD) facility loses their license, it will take about 18 months to reopen. Florida does not have this law on the books for drug rehabs West Palm Beach.
What Does Patient Broker Law SB 1228 Say About Residential, Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment Centers?
The intent of this article is to provide educational information to drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers, sober living facilities and the general public. It is not to be construed for legal advice. you should consult with a California behavioral healthcare law firm on any legal advice. Below is SB 1228 law for informational purposes:
Section 2 – 11831.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
The new laws pertain to California drug rehabs, inpatient, residential and outpatient facilities. The following persons, programs, or entities shall not give or receive remuneration or anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment services:
- Alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facility licensed under this part.
- An owner, partner, officer, or director, or shareholder who holds an interest of at least 10 percent in alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facility licensed under this part.
- A person employed by, or working for, alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facility licensed under this part, including, but not limited to, registered and certified counselors and licensed professionals providing counseling services.
- Alcohol or other drug program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
- An owner, partner, officer, or director, or shareholder who holds an interest of at least 10 percent in an alcohol or other drug program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
- A person employed by, or working for, alcohol or other drug program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1, including, but not limited to, registered and certified counselors and licensed professionals providing counseling services.
- Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may, if it deems appropriate, implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of provider bulletins, written guidelines, or similar instructions from the department, until regulations are adopted.
Section 3 – 11831.7 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
The department may investigate allegations of violations of Section 11831.6. The department may, upon finding a violation of Section 11831.6 or any regulation adopted pursuant to that section, do any of the following:
- Assess a penalty upon alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facility licensed under this part.
- Suspend or revoke the license of alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment facility licensed under Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 11834.01), or deny an application for licensure, an extension of the licensing period, or modification to a license. Article 4 (commencing with Section 11834.35) of Chapter 7.5 shall apply to any action taken pursuant to this paragraph.
- Assess a penalty upon alcohol or other drug program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
- Suspend or revoke the certification of alcohol or other drug program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
- Suspend or revoke the registration or certification of a counselor for a violation of Section 11831.6.
- The department may investigate allegations against a licensed professional providing counseling services at an alcoholism or California drug rehabs recovery and treatment program licensed, certified, or funded under this part, and recommend disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, termination of employment at a program and suspension and revocation of licensure by the respective licensing board.
California Drug Rehabs Must Learn From Florida
Florida was the first state to focus on patient brokering laws for residential, inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation centers in the substance abuse industry. They have set the pace for the nation, but it has affected some ethical operators that did not change their business and marketing strategy. The media was quick to jump on the bandwagon providing, for the most part, unethical journalism.
The negative “Florida shuffle” press and isolated exposure of patient brokering in Florida caused individuals seeking addiction treatment to stay away. This caused some ethical drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in Florida to close their doors. More importantly, it may have put them into life-threatening situations that are happening across the nation. This negative press is now being experienced by California centers with the media’s “Rehab Riviera” label.
California drug rehabs need to adopt ethical and healthy business best practices. Many need to look closely at their current marketing plan and drug rehab SEO marketing mix. As Florida has experienced, relying on laissez-faire strategies will put your business at extreme risk. Mainly using boots on the ground, calls centers and PPC are not enough with the rapidly changing environment. You may want to join the exclusive California Addiction Professionals Referral Groups to stay up to date and connect with California addiction professionals.
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