drug rehab call centers in trouble with Congress

Drug Rehab Call Centers Get Congress Investigation Letters

Drug rehab call centers are in the sights of Congress. Eight of the nation’s drug and alcohol addiction treatment center call centers were sent investigation letters from Congress concerning patient brokering. This will change drug rehab lead generation options for addiction treatment centers. You can read a list of those drug rehab call centers that received the letters and what information Congress is requesting below. A buy rehab leads strategy is unpopular with many professionals in the drug and alcohol addiction industry. Even with its’ unpopularity, these businesses have thrived over the years. Most likely due to many drug and alcohol addiction treatment center owners relying on short-term solutions to their long-term problem of maintaining a census.

Drug Rehab Call Centers Being Checked Out by Congress on Drug Rehab Lead Generation

Congress is watching drug rehab call centersBig brother is watching the drug and alcohol addiction treatment industry on many different levels affecting treatment calls. The strict patient brokering laws that were passed on July 1, 2017, for sober homes and addiction treatment centers in West Palm Beach, Florida have paved the road for the nation. The new “Florida Model” is one of the most positive things that has come out of Florida for the addiction treatment industry. California is now in the process with legislation to fight patient brokering, many more states will follow.

Unfortunately, the media in its’ frenzy to gain readers and viewers for advertising dollars have beat up Florida causing some ethical operators to close their doors. They were dubbed with the “Florida Shuffle” which should be the “national body shuffle.” The irresponsible news media coverage has caused many to seek treatment in other areas of the country. This hurt the ethical players and more importantly caused some to get treatment in other areas that are worse than Florida. Forbes magazine reported we are in a 35 billion dollar a year industry, and NBC News reported that Florida only accounts for 1 billion. Florida is certainly not the worst state concerning patient brokering. The media in its’ slanted coverage, unknowingly may have caused life-threatening situations to many. It will be interesting to see if the media does a story covering drug rehab call centers across the nation.

Addiction Treatment Centers Competing in a Red Ocean

Addiction Treatment Center Marketing Content StrategyMany addiction treatment centers think they cannot compete with the big players in the sandbox due to their lack of education on proven drug rehab marketing strategies. They see the bigger players spending over six figures a month on addiction treatment marketing and resort to a quick fix . The quick fixes for their drug rehab lead generation include a buy rehab leads strategy from drug rehab call centers, soon to come again Google AdWords and the one trick pony cookie cutter solutions offered by the large drug rehab marketing agencies that rely on the churn of the 14,000 treatment centers across the US.  Florida was hit with a double whammy with the new laws passed on July 1, 2017, and then again with Google restricting drug and alcohol addiction treatment pay per click ads. Unfortunately, with the new investigation of Congress on call centers, some will go back to AdWords if they qualify through Google.

Drug Rehab Call Centers Leads Strategy

Drug rehab call centers marketing strategyIf the small to medium treatment centers did not waste their time and money on the short-term solutions but instead invested in a long-term organic strategy they would be much better off. It’s an interesting situation if you consider that many of the leads generated from call centers are not a good fit for the treatment centers. In addition, some shady drug rehab call centers sell the same rehabilitation lead to many centers. Once the center starts to complain they are not receiving treatment leads, the drug rehab call centers concentrate on sending a few well-qualified leads. And now in Florida, it is illegal to sell the well-qualified calls which are verification of benefits (VOB Calls.) If you are an addiction treatment center in Florida and are buying VOB calls, or if you are buying calls from a call center based in Florida you are at great risk including legal problems, felony charges, high fines and jail time.

Google AdWords and PPC for Drug Rehab Marketing Strategy

Drug Rehab Marketing Google AdWords not a good alternative from drug rehab call centersIt’s unfortunate that the small to medium size treatment centers revert to using AdWords and a buy rehab leads strategy. Consider this, pay per click accounts for 1.91% of the addiction treatment calls from page one of Google. Many of these calls are not a good fit for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment centers. The first three organic listings on page one of Google account for almost 70% of the page one clicks. In addition, they need to be ranking in the Google 3-pack on page one. It takes time and knowledge to rank on page one of Google. Many of the large one trick pony marketing agencies who have a hard time retaining the best marketing talent gloss over these critical elements. That is why it is extremely important to have drug rehab marketing consultants driving your addiction treatment marketing machine. This also applies to the addiction treatment ancillary services providers lead generation strategies. Many of the nation’s best marketing consultants have left the large drug rehab marketing agencies because they know their worth. They have left the one trick pony cookie cutter agencies because these marketing agencies simply cannot afford to pay them well enough because they rely on the glitz and glamour. They are spending big bucks on their Executive salaries, conferences, airfares, high-end restaurants and extravagant entertaining.

What Congress is Seeking from Drug Rehab Call Centers

Congress is seeking detailed and document answers to 10 questions regarding how these drug rehab call centers have been operating. Here are the areas that are looking to get information on;

  • operations, copies of policies and procedures,
  • how they obtain new treatment center, detox or sober living clients
  • how they refer out
  • process calls, questions asked, information provided, disclosure, and if staff have any certifications
  • how payment is determined
  • all signed contracts from treatment centers, detox’s and sober livings
  • are they helping get health insurance to cover drug and alcohol addiction treatment
  • all companies they are affiliated with including detox’s, sober livings, drug testing labs, billing companies and other drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers
  • disclosures on their websites
  • a complete disclosure of pay per click, AdWords, and paid advertising
  • documented number of drug rehab treatment calls every month since 2013
  • list of any organizations, all their emails and any communications they have dealt with that had license revoked or been shut down and why this happened
  • A list of employees that have any criminal charges or any lawsuits to the call centers in relationship to patient brokering

They also need to make arrangements by June 12, 2018, to provide a briefing to the committee staff. Below are the 8 call centers that have been contacted by Congress. You can click on them and read the letters that were sent.

Drug Rehab Call Centers Regulation is Coming from Congress

For drug rehab call centers and unethical operators in the addiction treatment rehabilitation marketing, the writing is on the wall. Big brother is examining every business and addiction recovery marketing aspect of our industry. Not only drug rehab call centers but also substance abuse drug testing labs, insurance, substance abuse billing, addiction treatment centers, opiate detox and sober livings. They are gathering the needed information to take down patient brokering and help save lives.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on call centers being investigated, leave a remark below.

5 thoughts on “Drug Rehab Call Centers Get Congress Investigation Letters

  1. David G Ostrow MD PhD LFAPA

    This is a symptom of a much larger problem-the lack of an evidence-based and coordinated treatment plan for the rapidly growing numbers of opioid and stimulant addicted persons caught up in the worst epidemic of drug abuse that we have seen in the US. This epidemic didn’t start overnight, but is attracting unethical players who see a largely unregulated market and hundreds of thousands of desperate persons needing services. The referral process is just one end of this extremely wasteful and deadly for-profit and largely unregulated market. Once persons leave whatever residential treatment program, they have no place to go but back to the street and rapidly relapse. We need a high level Comission to map out an effective and cost effective continuum of care for this epidemic of iatrogenic deadly drug addiction, or the payers will stop funding addiction treatment and the problem will continue to grow until every community, state, family and health provider is severely impacted. With all the lawsuits against the drug makers who created this problem, there should be a way to put the many hundreds of million dollars to work to solve this problem!

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  2. Charles J. Hill

    We have been fighting call centers and this form of industry fraud since 2009, working with the California Dept. of Justice, Calif. Senate office of oversight and outcomes, along with numerous wrongful death lawsuits. As an “IN NETWORK”, full service outpatient program, we have no incentive to tear patients away from their families and communities and adopt methods of fraudulent drug testing, billing and many other illegal and immoral policies and procedures. Our patients come from our home community and our valuable insurance contract relationships, ensure that we remain true to standards that protect patient safety, include family participation from day one and carry most of the costs that the “out of network” fraudulent programs use to escalate the return on investment.
    It is important that the treatment field begin to understand that outpatient treatment, does not need to consist of intensive outpatient programming alone. We are a state licensed ambulatory detox facility, coupled with daytime IOP, partial hospitalization and evening IOP. This breadth of services, allows patients to fit into our system, regardless of their situation with work or other life requirements. We are staffed with LVNs, an RN and have a medical director that sees the patients weekly. Full service outpatient programming is the future entry point for treatment. We have had too many years and wasted money and lives, shipping people around the country, under the false notion that they need to get away from their environment. Their home community is not the problem and transferring them 2,500 miles, only serves to preclude total family involvement in the treatment process, while depriving the patient an opportunity to address their conditioned cues related to their alcohol or drug use. More importantly, the patient is introduced, from day one to sober peers in their home community, with a seamless shift from level of care to level of care. The connections that they make are lasting and provide opportunities to gain a sense of hope and purpose, while resolving individual and family problems throughout the months long treatment process. Ultimately, five patients, or more can be treated, on an outpatient basis versus one in a residential setting. The system has refused to accept outpatient treatment and medication assisted treatment, because it would cost the inpatient provider many “heads on beds”. Their goal is, in part, to maximize revenue and, often, their patient’s recovery is less than secondary.
    In all likelihood, the future of the addiction field will consist of full service outpatient treatment, coupled with state licensed chemical dependency rehabilitation hospitals (CDRH). This assures the safety of the patient (when done effectively), provides many more opportunities for people to get care and improves outcomes, especially, for dependencies on drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids, that carry a long term post acute withdrawal syndrome that most cannot overcome. Given the reduced costs of outpatient care, the patient can be SLOWLY tapered off of the medication, thus, enhancing their chances of becoming drug free. A year in a residential setting does not allow for these patients to gradually allow their brain to return to a state of relative normalcy. With this paradigm shift, in the addiction field, the big money and big players will be left adrift with empty beds and many will find themselves, rightly, incarcerated. I believe that the time is coming for the coupling of full service outpatient methods, coupled with CDRH and MAT. This is the answer to our epidemic of opiate dependence and the coming surge in benzodiazepines that we are now seeing in middle schools. Xanax 4mg. bars are the new drug of the coming generation. Cheap to make and easy to get into the country.
    Please read John Hill’s excellent report for the Calif. Senate from 2012 entitled Rogue Rehabs. He started that report in 2010 with the death of a patient with COPD and congestive heart failure, who was placed in A Better Tomorrow (now American Addiction Centers) and died due to their failure to meet his need for oxygen 24/7 and 90 milligrams of serax, which was exactly what he didn’t need. Other programs are featured and John, soon after, had his entire investigative reporting team terminated from the Senate with the comment that it was a “hit job”. Kamala Harris didn’t think so, when she okayed the seating of a grand jury that took ten minutes to find them guilty of second degree murder and elder abuse with grave bodily injuries leading to death. A local judge dropped the murder charge and the players went on to make millions, buy islands in the Bahamas and private jets. An absence of accountability, is at the heart of this epidemic, as much as, the actions of the pharmaceutical industry.
    We need more outpatient but most people see that as a daunting task. Manifest Treatment Consulting has created a disc with thousands of pages of policies and procedures, protocols and safety systems. See their website at manifesttreatment.com

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  3. Judy Saalinger, Ph.D., LMFT, CAS

    I appreciate your beautifully written response to the current brokering and the problems within the addiction field. Like you, we have see significant success with patients in our Outpatient treatment program, utilizing the ‘IN-Network’ benefits due to our commitment to serve the patients and families in our community, staffed with licensed clinicians and incorporating IOP, PHP, SA/MH and medically assisted treatment. Patients build the recovery support from day 1 that can be there for the long journey of recovery. You are on track as far as I can see…. and we have been doing this for 15 years!
    Thank you Charles H.

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  4. Sharon Davis

    I have worked in the field of Addiction for 20 years and what I have struggled with, the one’s that treat the clients hardly are ever asked what would make our job easier for the client. I have worked in patient, outpatient and partial outpatient treatment. Lack of funds to treat clients with the latest treatment models, has been very limited.

    Now being in private practice, I network with the field, and have a passion to work with the clients if they are willing to work themselves.

    I was stifled in the system, because every client was looked at the same. Versus working with their issue, not what the treatment facility deemed the issue. I do recall asking to apply for a grant from the local police dept, to get funding from the drug monies they recouped. With that money I spent every cent on treatment products, even at good will.

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