OC Works To Combat Fraudulent Treatment Centers
It’s a sad fact that fraudulent recovery centers exist throughout our country, preying on addicted patients with insurance scams and unethical treatment. And in our own backyard of Orange County, California these types of clinics appear to be on the rise. To help combat this epidemic, officials in that region are pushing measures to have all local addiction centers register with the city and list all of their affiliates.
The affiliate component includes full disclosures for all sober living homes, blood and urine testing labs, and pharmacies associated with a particular treatment center. Those who fail to register honestly would be charged with a misdemeanor crime and forced to pay fines of up to $1,000. There is also a risk of six months of jail time for certain offenders.
We have reported on some of the issues that Orange County has faced in the past regarding recovery scams. And per The OC Register, it has even been labeled a “Rehab Riviera” for the amount of unethical practices popping up throughout its various cities. County Board of Supervisors rep Lisa Bartlett told the Register that the time to act on this is now.
“We need to act immediately,” Bartlett emphasized. “We can’t wait for state and federal legislation. People’s lives are at risk.”
The Register delved even further into some of the intricacies of the new registry. For one thing, all of this information would be readily available to the public (including a center’s name, address and license number). If a certain clinic has failed to meet standards in the past, that would all now be fully transparent.
Orange Country’s Health Care Agency would be responsible for overseeing the registry. It would also be absorbing the expenses for the first year this movement is enacted. Cost is probably the biggest concern right now, as accurate figures for building and maintaining the registry have yet to be revealed.
Though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, other officials are voicing concern that creating this initiative could put an increase on local taxes. But as OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told the Register that the pros far outweigh the cons.
“We have hundreds and hundreds of these facilities in our county,” Rackauckas added. “And frankly, it’s a plague to the county.”
A movement like this certainly has our support. As a facility that is fully licensed and credentialed, we welcome the more stringent measures and only hope that they can thin out the unscrupulous elements of our industry.