Patient brokering laws for drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers are nationwide. It is paramount for all drug rehabilitation providers and sober livings to be well educated on these. Especially the local regulatory climate in West Palm Beach FL. and California.
Understanding Patient Brokering Laws
Many addiction treatment centers, sober livings, and marketers are misinformed about their marketing contracts. Recently the Tomasso brothers thought they were covered with their marketing contracts. Many of these contracts are not in compliance and owners and marketers need to be Crystal clear on what the law requires.
From a Palm Beach Post article by Jorge Milan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer,
“The Tomasso brothers, both residents of Boca Raton, entered into a “marketing employment contract” on Dec. 1, 2016, that “was actually for the referral of patients from Ronald’s sober home” to a substance-abuse facility run by James Tomasso’s wife, the report said.”
Drug rehab marketing employment contracts, like the one the Tomasso brothers signed, are used by treatment facilities to circumvent Florida’s patient-brokering law, which states it is unlawful for any person to offer or pay any commission, bonus, rebate, kickback, or bribe … to induce the referral of patients or patronage to or from a health care provider,” according to Delray Beach police, which investigated the case.
The patient brokering law originated with drug rehabs in Florida. They are know spreading across the United States. California is experiencing the implementations in 2020. David will be discussing some fundamental and wide-spread misconceptions on patient brokering and kickbacks that leave many open to legal issues. He will be sharing practical tips on how to make ethical arrangements with marketers more defensible. Below are some questions we plan on asking him.
David Hirshfeld, Esq. is licensed to practice in Florida and New York. He currently owns a nationally respected law firm Hirshfeld PLLC. He has has spent his 23-year legal career advising clients with respect to:
business arrangements among licensed health care providers
unlicensed entities in the business of healthcare, insurers and other third-party payors.
For the past five years, he has focused almost exclusively on the substance abuse treatment segment. David was one of FARR’s original board members, and represents:
lead generation companies
He is occasionally asked to advise private equity concerns as well as other law firms. David has also served as full-time in-house counsel to several insurance companies, a healthcare marketing company, and an SAT provider.
Healthcare and Drug Rehab Patient Brokering Laws
David Hirshfeld, Esq. is very well-versed in laws governing the corporate practice of:
patient brokering laws
the scope of practice and supervision
general laws governing business entities
As part of representing healthcare businesses, he has become expert with respect to:
general legal issues arising from space and equipment leases
employment and contractor arrangements
human resource issues
wage-and-hour law, arrangements among owners within a business
other general business arrangements not specifically related to health care or insurance
California drug rehabs are now experiencing many business and operational changes. The laws are forcing them to incorporate legal business and marketing strategies. Many substance abuse treatment facilities are getting educated on drug rehab SEO marketing to attract new clients.
California Drug Rehabs Marketing Arrangements Still Not Legal
California drug rehabs are now understanding the patient brokering laws. Many recovery centers and sober livings current contracts may not protect them from criminal liability from patient brokering laws. With the current status of the addiction treatment industry, it is critical that owners and operators have contracts that are as defensible as possible.
Many are relying on recommendations from inexperienced legal counsel and peers. There are still gray areas and operating ethically in compliance with the law is critical. Here are some topics we plan on asking Mr. Hirshfeld;
Many people seem to believe that they are free to compensate marketers based on the numbers of patients or the amount of revenue they bring to a treatment provider as long as the marketer is hired on a W-2 basis. Is it really that simple? Are you adhering to the patient brokering laws?
In addition to carefully choosing whether to characterize the marketer as 1099 or W-2, are there any other steps that treatment centers can take to help shore up their marketing arrangements from a regulatory perspective?
Please post any questions or comments on patient brokering below.
Addiction Professional Conferences Addressing Patient Brokering Laws
Behavioral Health Network Resources Addiction Conferences EMP Series tackles these issues head-on. Learn proven and ethical rehab marketing strategies providing long-term solutions to the addiction treatment centers problem of maintaining a health census. We are working on our next events in Florida and California in 2019. If you would like to sponsor or exhibit please contact our CEO, Charles Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach, and drug rehabs in Florida are only one area that is under the new business administration and patient brokering laws. These pertain to drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers, sober livings and halfway houses. The new drug rehab and sober homes laws cover the entire state of Florida. However, the largest concentration is with addiction treatment-related facilities in Palm Beach County.
It is paramount that every individual seeking drug and alcohol addiction treatment and addiction professionals fully understand the drug rehabs West Palm Beach laws. Many seeking drug and alcohol addiction treatment in any fashion do not understand the risks that are involved when picking treatment centers, sober livings or halfway houses. Even within the addiction treatment industry, there are some “green” professionals that are being deceived in their new roles. Under the new laws, “ignorance is not bliss.”
The spotlight for addiction treatment marketing has been in South Florida for some time. The media has jumped on the bandwagon to get more viewers for more advertising dollars. Some of this coverage is slanted and irresponsible. It has caused many ethical players to struggle in keeping their doors open while causing others to close their doors. The focus of the coverage should be that the new “Florida Model” is paving the road for national laws against patient brokering.
We are fighting a heroin epidemic (more than 150 per day) and the stigma of addiction. One-sided stories of drug rehabs in Florida are hurting more than they are helping. They have slanted that drug rehabs West Palm Beach and Florida is the only place patient brokering is occurring. Let’s be perfectly clear here, patient brokering is happening all over the United States. Florida happens to be one of the nation’s more popular destinations for addiction treatment. Soon we will see the spotlight shift to other largely populated recovery areas like California, Texas, Arizona and the Northeast.
Who’s Keep Track and Regulating the Drug Rehabs Industry?
Although it is difficult to accurately measure how many addiction treatment centers, sober homes, 1/2 way houses, recovery residences, and drug rehabs in Florida exist in the geographical area there is some data. For instance, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) did a study in LA County showing 260 sober living homes with a capacity of 3,265 individuals. The number is most likely in excess of 600 based on industry unconfirmed sources, while the unconfirmed numbers in the West Palm Beach, FL area are between 400 to 600.
What to do in West Palm Beach, FL Area, and Drug Rehabs Reputation
West Palm Beach, FL is a diverse community and a destination for many including those suffering from drug and addiction problems. It’s beginnings date back to 1513 with Juan Ponce de Leon and had a population of 20,000 native Americans. West Palm Beach’s current population is 100,000. In the heart of West Palm Beach is the Flagler Museum, the Kravis Center, Clematis Street, and City Place districts. These are the areas that attract much-seeking treatment, however, they are filled with nightlife, bars, clubs, and restaurants. The largest West Palm Beach area attracting those with drug and alcohol addiction issues is Delray Beach, FL. These are some of the reasons why drug rehabs West Palm Beach have been targeted.
Understanding Why Drug Rehabs in Florida Have a Bad Reputation?
Delray Beach, FL Sunny Addiction Treatment Destination
For drug rehabs in Florida, West Palm Beach is ground zero with Delray Beach, Florida leading the way.
In the West Palm Beach area is the heart of the recovery community in Florida. Although Delray Beach is only 15 square miles there are many sober homes and 1/2-way houses. It has been marked by the New York Times in 2007, as the drug recovery capital of the United States. This dubbing was due to having one of the nation’s largest addiction recovery communities and the highest number of sober living homes.
Other major news outlets like NBC News have aired stories on drug rehabs in Florida, West Palm Beach fraudulent practices and claimed Florida is generating a billion dollars a year. Consider this, in 2015, Forbes did an article claiming the addiction treatment industry generates 35 billion dollars a year. Florida generates a billion dollars, where is the other 34 billion? According to these numbers, Florida may not be the worst state with patient brokering issues.
Governmental Drug Rehabs in Florida Listings
The governmental listing for drug rehabs in Florida shows fewer centers than actually exist. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA) website only lists 92 addiction treatment facilities categorized as substance abuse in a 25-mile radius around West Palm Beach, including Delray Beach, FL. This list includes addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach, drug rehabs, sober homes, and halfway houses. Even though we know there are many unregistered sober homes, this list should most likely be over 400 facilities.
In comparison on SAMSHA’s website, there are 274 treatment centers, sober homes and halfway houses listed in a 25-mile radius around Los Angeles County. These numbers fall in line with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study and clearly show we need to address that all addiction treatment centers, sober livings, and halfway houses be registered and regulated by some governing body.
This article simplistically outlines the new drug rehabs in Florida laws and behavioral health legal counsel should be contacted for exact interpretation. Our goal is to direct addiction treatment centers and sober living owners, operators and addiction professionals to the Florida law statutes. This is paramount for them to operate ethically and responsibly. It also goes beyond educating addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach, there are laws across the entire US.
From Regulation to Patient Brokering Laws for Drug Rehabs in Florida
What Do Drug Rehabs in Florida and West Palm Beach Laws Cover?
The new Florida drug rehabs laws cover much more than just rehab marketing for drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. The laws affect more recovery residences. 1/2-way houses and sober homes West Palm Beach, Florida area. They cover all of Florida.
The laws also cover opiate detox West Palm Beach. It must also be understood that if you are out of state and engage in breaking any of these new laws with an organization in Florida, you are subject to Florida laws and can be prosecuted. This includes offering any enticements (airfare) to bring a client out of the state of Florida.
Chapter 2017-179 Encompasses Drug Rehabs in Florida and West Palm Beach
The CHAPTER 2017-173 is a criminal statute which specifically prohibits Florida drug rehabs any health care providers or health care facilities from giving or receiving any form of remuneration in exchange for referrals, regardless of the source of payment for the applicable service or product. The Florida Legislature passed the Patient Brokering Act after learning that various hospitals, mental health, addiction treatment centers and sober livings we’re brokering patients.
While the laws focus on Florida drug rehabs, they apply for the entire state of Florida. The laws also cover deceptive web marketing practices. Popular search terms like “addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach” are being redirected to shady websites copycat sites.
Overview of Drug Rehabs in Florida and Addiction Treatment Centers West Palm Beach Laws
License application; requiring accreditation for certain license renewals.
The new role of DCF.
Higher licensing fees to cover the cost of regulation.
Background screening for owners, directors, chief financial officers, and clinical supervisors.
Authorizing the department to deny a renewal application of a regular license if received fewer than 30 days before expiration.
Requiring clinical supervisors to undergo background screening.
Requiring the department to establish minimum standards for license of substance abuse service components.
Specifying standards, procedures, and staffing requirements.
DCF can conduct announced and unannounced inspections.
Limiting referrals to and from recovery residences in certain circumstances; providing exceptions; requiring a service provider to maintain certain referral records.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can take action against an entity providing services without a license.
Unlawful for a person to offer or pay, or solicit or receive, benefits for clients.
In order to be issued a regular addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach license, the applicant must be in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. An application for renewal of a regular license must be submitted to the department at least 60 days before the license expires.
A service provider or Florida drug rehabs licensed under this part may not make a referral of a prospective, current, or discharged the patient to, or accept a referral of such a patient from, a recovery residence unless the recovery residence holds a valid certificate of compliance as provided in s. 397.487 and is actively managed by a certified recovery residence administrator as provided in s. 397.4871.
397.4871 does not apply if referrals by a recovery residence to a licensed service provider when the recovery residence or its owners, directors, operators, or employees do not benefit, directly or indirectly, from the referral.
A licensed service provider shall maintain records of referrals to, or from recovery residences as may be prescribed by the department in the rule.
After June 30, 2019, a licensed service provider violating this section shall be subject to an administrative fine of $1,000 per occurrence. Repeat violations of this section may subject a provider to license suspension or revocation pursuant to 397.415.
Making a false or misleading statement, or providing false or misleading information, about the provider’s, or operator’s, or third party’s products, goods, services, or geographical locations in its marketing, advertising materials, or media on its website. This is often done to increase drug rehab SEO rankings.
Including on its website false information or electronic links, coding, or activation that provides false information or that surreptitiously directs the reader to another website in their rehab marketing campaigns.
Entering into a marketing contract with a provider who agrees to generate referrals or leads for the placement of patients with a service provider or in a recovery residence through a call center or a web-based presence, unless the service provider or the operator of the recovery residence disclose the following to the prospective patient so that the patient can make an informed health care decision.
Information about addiction treatment centers West Palm Beach, the specifically licensed service providers, or recovery residences that are represented by the provider and pay a fee to the marketing provider, including the identity of such service providers or recovery residences.
Clear and concise instructions that allow the prospective patient to easily access lists of licensed service providers and recovery residences on the department website.
Drug Rehabs in Florida get educated at Addiction Executive Conferences on Ethical Marketing and Business Practices
Behavioral Health Network Resources next addiction conferences EMP Series event is on 8/6/19. You can click on the conference picture to the left and learn more about how Florida drug rehabs are educating California drug rehabs. Behavioral Health Network Resources has held behavioral health events for 3 years with 14 addiction professional conferences. These events have provided vital business and marketing intel to survive the drastic changes from new laws and regulations. California is experiencing what Florida experienced 1-1/2 years ago. The events tackle and provide proven, ethical business and marketing strategies. Addiction treatment centers and sober livings learn proven long-term solutions for maintaining a healthy census and how to generate more revenue.
Each event is in a unique talk show host, town hall-style conference featuring 5 Executive panelists. This is an interactive forum that features 150-200 attendees and 15 exhibitors. You can contact Charles Davis at email@example.com, or 561-235-6195 if you would like to be a panelist, sponsor or exhibit.
W2 Employees and 1099 Contractors, You Florida drug rehabs may not be Protected.
Many people seem to believe that they are free to compensate marketers based on the number of patients or the amount of revenue they bring to an SAT provider as long as the marketer is hired on a W2 basis. Is it really that simple?
In addition to carefully choosing whether the characterize the marketer as 1099 or W2, are there any other steps SAT providers can take to help shore up their marketing arrangements from a regulatory perspective?
Resources for Drug Rehabs in Florida
There is a need for educational resources on drug rehabs in Florida. The new laws have impacted addiction treatment center marketing on how they can get referrals. It is now paramount the drug rehabilitation centers establish ethical referral relationships. Below is the top 5 addiction professional referral resource to assist outreach and marketing professionals. Connect with ethical centers in the Facebook Addiction Professional Referral group with 20,000 members helping dozens every week. This is an extremely active group with professionals seeking a fit for their clients and individuals seeking help.
Facebook Addiction Professional Referral Group 19,000 Members with 500 waiting to be approved. One of Facebook’s most active addiction groups, highly monitored with over 6,000 banned in the last 12 months.
Florida Drug Rehabs West Palm Beach Understanding the Laws
Florida drug rehabs, sober homes, and addiction treatment centers in the West Palm Beach area have been hit hard with media coverage on the Florida Shuffle. This has affected many ethical operators making it difficult to obtain new clients. Centers now are looking at drug rehab SEO to compete with PPC using Legit Script. Florida only accounts for one billion dollars of the industries 35 billion dollars that are being generated.
The media in its effort to gain viewers and advertising dollars need to be more responsible with their reporting. They need to report all the other bad areas including California, Texas, Arizona, and the North East. The bad publicity from drug rehabs West Palm Beach is driving individuals seeking addiction treatment to another state where it could potentially be worse. Judging by the industry revenue numbers of $35 billion a year, there is $34 billion that is unaccounted.
We would love to hear your thoughts (below) on the current status of patient brokering in the addiction treatment industry.