Representative Steve Knight,R-Palmdale, and Representative Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton, introduced legislation Tuesday to help combat fraud and abuse within the addiction recovery industry.
The Recovery Home Certification Act, introduced as H.R. 5100 on Tuesday, would establish model quality standards in order for organizations to receive certifications as a recovery home. State and local governments would be able to use this as a model on which to base their own regulations.
It would also create criminal penalties for individuals who engage in “patient brokering”, which is the act of referring or recruiting to patients to recovery homes or treatment facilities in exchange for payments. Patient brokering can sometimes trap recovering patients in a cycle of recovery and relapse for the benefit of those using this practice.
“Over 2 million Americans seek help with addiction and substance abuse treatment every year.” Knight said. “The opioid epidemic is a severe challenge we all must face as a community. It is unacceptable that certain actors would take advantage of this by exploiting those in need of help. This bill will help hold service providers accountable and ensure that those who seek help will be greeted with adequate care.”
Many organizations who claim to serve people suffering from addiction are ridden with fraud, abuse and unacceptable conditions for clients, according to several government and media investigations. The current lack of safeguards in place allows bad-actors to enter this industry to exploit the system for personal profit, according to a press release from Knight.
“Many sober living homes lack proper oversight and expertise on how to operate these facilities.” said Pat Montoya, the president of Not One More an anti-addiction organization. “This negates the rehabilitation process.”
The above information was given to The Signal via a news release from the office of Representative Steve Knight.