State Targets ‘Patient Brokering’ for Addiction

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 27 announced a campaign to battle “patient brokering” in which middlemen collect commissions from addiction treatment centers and sober-living homes for referring patients with health insurance.

The patients then receive what the governor called “inadequate and ineffective treatment at outrageous costs.” Many of the suspect clinics are located in Florida, Arizona and California.

As part of the campaign, the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers are distributing posters that remind those suffering from addiction and their families that “when it comes to rehab referrals, beware of broken promises.”

In addition, OASAS issued a directive that requires referrals in New York to be delivered by state certified and credentialed professionals, who are prohibited from collecting referral fees. New Yorkers can report suspicious activity by calling 800-553-5790 or emailing [email protected]

Those struggling with addiction or who have loved ones who need help can call the state’s 24-hour hotline at 877-846-7369. Crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence or outpatient care can be located at findaddictiontreatment.ny.gov.

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