Breaking the “Body Brokers” What we can learn from one California non-profit that stood up to the addiction patient kickback business in its state
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The ingredients for corruption are simple: an infusion of cash, poor regulations, and vulnerable patients. For one CEO of a medium-sized non-profit in California the recipe for disaster was clear early on. In the summer of 2015, Pete Nielsen, the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) leader and CEO, sat at his austere desk fielding calls about a new phenomenon hitting the industry: the selling of addiction patients for cash.
Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which made the provision of addiction treatment services one of the “ten essential benefits” that must be provided by insurers, its implementation in 2014 caught insurers, providers, and regulators off-guard to potential scam artists and their kickback schemes.
As a matter of public safety, the Department of Health Care Services and CCAPP have quickly and effectively implemented a three-part series of bills and have worked closely to encourage their success. The Department instituted a hotline and began addressing complaints in January 2019, just weeks after the bill became law. CCAPP created its “Certified Treatment Executive” shortly thereafter, giving treatment program owners, advocates, and leaders additional resources about the new laws and an expansive curriculum on ethical business practices for the industry.
Now that Hollywood has entered the fray to portray patient brokering as a lavish, seductive, and dramatic enterprise, in the soon to be released film Body Brokers, CCAPP and the members it represents must once again reassure the public that treatment is safe and ethical and made more so by the dedicated professionals who discovered this monstrous practice and put heart and soul into creating barriers to it. To read the full story about how California conquered the “body brokers,” visit:
Members of the public who are aware of patient brokering conduct can report their concerns to the Department of Health Care Services via e-mail at:
SUDComplaints@dhcs.ca.gov or by calling the toll free complaint line at 877-685-8333.
For complaints outside of California, an EKRA complaint can be made at https://www.whistleblowerllc.com/ekra-eliminating-kickbacks-in-recovery-act/
CCAPP is the largest statewide consortium of community-based profit and non-profit substance use disorder treatment agencies and addiction focused professionals, providing services to over 100,000 California residents annually in residential, outpatient, and private practice settings. It is our mission to inspire excellence and promote change through our focus on membership, advocacy, and governance. To learn more, please visit: https://www.ccapp.us/
Pete Nielsen, CCAPP, President & CEO
Tel: 800-564-5927, Ext. 116
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SOURCE California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals