New Bill Hopes To Address ‘Crooked’ Recovery Clinics
It is always disheartening to hear about recovery facilities across our state who refuse to play by the rules. Often concerned more with profits than actually helping people, they have begun receiving a ton of bad press and are hurting our industry as a whole. Well now, California Senator Pat Bates is attempting to push through a new law that hopes to change all that.
Titled SB 902 the bill is still very much a work in progress, but Bates has emphasized that its primary focus is to build more health and safety standards for all recovery facilities within the state. The points also emphasize California’s recent reputation as a “Rehab Riviera,” working to attract addicted transplants with false promises of glitz and glamour. In their eyes (and in ours), the work should always come before the fancy marketing campaigns.
The Laguna Niguel-based Senator spoke about the new action with Orange County’s Daily Breeze outlet, bringing up the fact that many similar bills have been proposed and failed. Previously she had proposed a law titled SB 1283, which also focused on poorly run recovery clinics, but was rejected by the Senate Health Committee.
“For more than 20 years, several bipartisan efforts to address the challenges surrounding the state’s drug rehab history have gone nowhere due to opposition from vested interests,” Bates told The Daily Breeze. “While I’m under no illusion that pursuing greater oversight will be any easier this year, doing nothing is not acceptable for constituents who have contacted me on this issue. The Southern California News Group’s thorough 2017 investigation into the industry makes it clear that reforms are needed.”
Bates went on to reference the practice of “patient brokering” and the growing exercise of using middle men to lure patients to luxurious rehab clinics under false pretenses (which we’ve mentioned many times before). Insurance scams are another growing trend among the crooked facilities, with programs that actually feed people’s habits to prolong their treatments and collect larger payouts.
The Breeze went on to report that Bates has a growing list of high-profile supporters in her corner. Apparently large groups of parents who have lost loved ones in California treatment centers have joined the cause, bringing their voice to social media and to Governor Jerry Brown’s office via a letter-writing campaign (which he has yet to respond to).
And if Senator Bates’ latest bill gets rejected again, she promised The Breeze that she plans to continue the fight.
“Creating substantive and positive change in the drug rehab industry will take time,” she added. “But as a former social worker who once worked in some of our state’s most economically deprived neighborhoods, I take inspiration from Winston Churchill’s mantra of ‘Never, never, never give up.’ And as long as I’m around, I won’t. Stay tuned.”