A hurricane has hit Addiction Treatment Center Owners, Detox Center Owners, and Sober Home Operators. This hurricane is hitting full force with 5 bills HB 807 (SB 788), HB 249 (SB 588), HB 477, HB 557 (SB 840), and SB 866 (HB 791). While this hurricane is directed towards patient brokers, drug dealers, prescribing doctors, and hospitals (collection of OD data), it also requires treatment centers to operate quite differently severe penalties, felony charges, and jail time. The old “Laissez-faire” operating mentality is gone and being replaced because of abuse, irresponsibility, and the loss of many lives.

This is first time our industry will have regulations designed to get rid of the large underground network of patient brokers. The passed legislation is ultimately designed to address the heroin epidemic and save lives. If you do not completely understand all the legislation that has come and is coming you will not be operating soon.

At Behavioral Health Network Resources (BHNR) October 27, 2016 event where we honored the Riviera Beach Civil Drug Court and raised over $400,000 worth of treatment scholarships (services not monies), we said there was a hurricane coming to South Florida and to start preparing for future changes. As a conference host provider (8 events total) educating Executives on the ethical business side of addiction, Behavioral Health Network Resources knew it was our responsibility to use our large professional direct audience and social media network to educate on these complex changes.

About three months ago we started attending the Sober Homes Task Force and Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC) Meetings. We did this to try and understand the legislative process and the changes that are coming. We sat quietly, listening, getting educated, and took in all the information that we could to get an understanding to educate the professional community and the Executives attending our events.

We sat in meetings and tried to get an understanding on these changes. We noticed that there are only about 40-50 organizations participating with these organizations. These organizations have formed the landscape for the legislative changes. Any organization that has not been present, or decided not to participate could have helped mold the new regulated addiction treatment industry.

In our journey over the last several months there are still areas where we are confused. The legal jargon that the bills are written can be extremely difficult to understand, and understanding some areas where there may be loop holes. We have spoken with many operators that either seemed to think the changes will never happen, are relying on the interpretation of their legal counsel, or even worse an interpretation from their peers. We have also seen on social media the same type of reaction with many complaining, but few getting involved.

This prompted Behavioral Health Network resources to host an event that puts the forging Father’s in an open town hall forum for the operators to get educated. The Addiction Executive Thought Leader Panel Series “Fighting Patient Brokering” May 10, 2017 event in Riviera Beach puts owners directly in front of the driving force on these changes (Sober Homes Task Force) with 5 Executive panelists. CLICK HERE to check out the entire event.

This event had 210 participants, 120 organizations, 12 attorneys, and 75% of the registrants were CEO’s and Directors. We urge all to get involved in molding our industry being an “Agent of Change”, and to start attending the Some Homes Task Force and the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition meetings. We would like to thank our sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, and volunterrs that made this event possible.

Our industry is changing fast, self-regulation, unity, and positive messages are needed. We felt it’s extremely important for all professionals in our industry to gain as much knowledge as possible on these drastic changes and have allowed access to 1.5 Billion people on Facebook with the Facebook Live feed of the event. Below you can visit the panelist portion of the event and get educated on some of the issues.

The current legislation that was passed on May 4, 2017 HB 807 (SB 788) broken down to simplistic terms;

MarketingDrug treatment center marketers will need to be licensed by the state’s Division of Consumer Services. Deceiving, lying, or misleading about treatment services offered, amenities, and the high jacking of 800 numbers will be first-degree misdemeanor. We have been educating centers of the 800-number high jacking using our national social media audience, and as a personality on the national Recovery Radio Raw Show with Indian Bob.

Criminal PenaltiesStatewide you can be investigated and prosecuted for patient brokering. Prosecution could result in a felony and the fines increase with the number of patients brokered. Brokering more than 20 patients will be a first-degree felony and a whopping fine of $500,000.

DCF’s Role (Department of Children and Families): It will now cost much more to license a facility and the penalty for operating without a license is a third-degree felony with a maximum 5 years in jail. DCF significant increase in licensing fees. Operating without a license becomes a third-degree felony, carrying a maximum five-year prison sentence. DCF now must draft the new rules including; clinical, treatment best-practices, operating standards, levels of qualifications for addiction professionals and the number of staff that will be required to operate. DCF will also be allowed to visit you center anytime without notice and inspect all of the above.

As a treatment center owner, detox center owner, or sober living owner you need to completely understand the 5 bills that have passed below;

HB 807 (SB 788) — Marketers will now have to be licensed and there are stiff penalties and fines for patient brokering. and centers will be help legally liable for deceptive marketing practices. It makes DCF the “big brother” and enforcer of the industry

Sponsors: Reps. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton; Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart; and Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boca Raton; and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Atlantis.

HB 249 (SB 588) — Paramedics, emergency techs, and hospitals to collect data on overdoses and report them to the Dept. of Health. Forces hospitals to adapt overdose protocols.

Sponsors: Reps. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, Larry Lee Jr., D-Fort Pierce; and Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples.

HB 477 —  Directly attacks drug dealers with min. and mandatory jail time including heavy fines for dealing in fentanyl. It also gives prosecutors the option of imposing murder charges.

Sponsors: Reps. Kathleen Peters, R-St. Petersburg; and Charlie Stone, R-Ocala.

HB 557 (SB 840) — Directed towards prescribing physicians controlling the quantity of opioids prescribed to five days. The Prescriptions that are filled for any controlled substances must be reported in the State prescription drug monitoring database within one day.

Sponsors: Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, Rep. David Silvers, D-West Palm Beach; and Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Atlantis.

SB 886 (HB 791) — Protects individuals that have been Marchman Acted by making their court records confidential.

Sponsors: Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach; and Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boca Raton.

While Florida has one of the worst reputations for addiction treatment in the US, we must realize that Florida is also one of the most popular destinations for treatment and one of the nation’s largest providers of treatment. The large underground patient brokering network is national and many other states have the same issues as Florida, however the spot light has been on South Florida. The work that has been done and will be done is setting a precedence to be followed nationally, and with Dave Aronberg, his army, and national plans to save lives puts Florida in a positive light with the new “Florida Model” to be followed.

BHNR is dedicated to educating Addiction Executives on ethical business practices nationwide, while our events attract a national audience we are in process of hosting our Addiction Executive Thought Leader Panel Series events in other states like California, Texas, and in the Northeast. If your organization is dedicated to ethical business practices and want to educate your peers we would like to speak with you about partnering on an event in your state.

Facebook Addiction Professional Referral Group 16,000 Members. Extremely active group that is an outstanding ethical resource for Addiction Professionals. This group has banned over 2,000 questionable members. CLICK HERE

Linkedin Addiction Professional Referral Group 15,000 Members

Facebook Generation “X” Addiction Unleashed 10,000 Members

Facebook South Florida Addiction Connection 2,000 South Florida Members

Facebook Addiction Treatment Industry Top 100 6,000 Members

Facebook South Florida Connection Addiction and Behavioral Health 10,000 Members

Facebook Addiction and Behavioral Health Events 5,000 Members

Facebook  ᗩᗪᗪIᑕTIOᑎ ᖇEᔕᑕᑌE; ᕼEᒪᑭ ᗷEᖴOᖇE IT’ᔕ TOO ᒪᗩTE 6,000 Members

Facebook New Jersey Addiction Support 2,000 Members

Facebook Addiction and Behavioral Health Options 2,500 Members

Facebook 𝑩𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑪𝒚𝒄𝒍𝒆 1,000 Members

Monumental Industry Changes Conference – Sponsored by RecoveryRadio.FM

Posted by RecoveryRadio.fm on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

https://www.facebook.com/RecoveryRadio.FM/videos/1268021283315518/

Article Written by

Charles Davis

CEO Behavioral Health Network Resources

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Legal Things Addiction Professionals Must Know

  1. Robbin ONeill-Gregory

    Charles, thank you for all that you do to clean up our industry. Your efforts are inspiring, hopeful and these new beginnings are truly exciting. When California sets up a similar chapter, committee or event, I would welcome the opportunity to serve in any capacity. Thank you again for stepping up and being such an integral part of these much needed changes.

  2. Linda

    Great article, Charles! Thanks for the valuable information!

  3. Annette Mayer

    Charles, the effort and hard work you put forth to keep everyone who dedicates themselves to recovery is appreciated. You bring get us together to educate and collaborate. Unified we will succeed in weeding out the bad players and bring a higher level of integrity to our profession.

    The small part our pharmacy plays in the recovery from addiction, is based on a model of providing the best pharmaceutical care cost effectively. Those who take advantage of the weak and ill should be shamed.
    Than you for all you do.

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