Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
Are Treatment Centers Really Just A Money Grab?
With patient brokering and other shady practices occurring in the treatment industry today, it’s no wonder we’re starting to hear more complaints. Some brokers have figured out ways to manipulate insurance claims by cycling addicted persons through detox, rehab and outpatient programs (over and over again). One woman stated that treatment centers were nothing but a money grab. She went on to say; people who went to rehab for treatment came out worse, not better. She never referred to one specific treatment center, but rather all rehab facilities in general. There’s a growing concern over treatment providers. You may have heard the grumblings, too. Unfortunately, there is some truth to these rumors. There are dubious centers out there. Some facilities pay brokers to round up clientele. When I hear first about brokers, I was confused. Don’t brokers work on Wall Street? Head-hunters is another term that has recently been applied. Brokers, head-hunters… and the addicted person. It might make a riveting book, but in real life the people I’ve met who work in the treatment industry are just ordinary people. With a twist. These folks will go to the end of the world and back, to try and help their addicted brothers and sisters. Most people (like me) who work in treatment centers are not the enemy. We are not out to grab your money or take advantage of you. We are simply people like you – people, who have been affected by this illness. We are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters and husbands and wives. We have loved someone struggling with addiction. Some of us have struggled with it, ourselves. We need to be cautious when grouping all treatment centers together as money grabbers and bad. When we point fingers and blame, we only make the problem worse. The ones who really pay for it, are the ones we are trying to help. The addicted person is paying attention to these rumours. We are giving them more reasons to put off getting help and justify using. The blaming goes something like this; First we blame each other. (Those closest to us) Then we blame the addicted person. Next, comes their friends or workplace. Then we blame the healthcare system And of course… We blame the treatment centers. But what about big pharma? After attending the Fed Up Reception at The National Press Club in Washington DC it is clear they play a HUGE role in the opioid epidemic we face today. Michael Botticelli says in Capitol Hill their mission is “speaking truth to power.” Speaking truth to power… It has a nice ring to it. So here’s some truth. Business Insider posted a searing new report from the Associated Press claiming the makers of opioid painkillers, the dangerous drugs at the center of the tragic overdose crisis, outspent the US gun lobby on lobbying and campaign contributions by 8:1. The report looked at the period from 2006 to 2015, when deaths from the drugs began to skyrocket. Opioid drug makers including Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, spent more than $880 million, or roughly $98 million per year, on lobbying and campaign contributions that included efforts to support the drugs. The pharmaceutical industry has been exploiting the noble sense of human compassion for years, leaving our society with an opioid addiction epidemic that has claimed the lives of 165,000 Americans. That’s more than we lost in most wars, including World War I! Unbelievable, isn’t it? If you’re still looking for someone to blame, maybe big pharma should step up to the plate. Pharmaceutical companies and allied groups spent more than $880 million on campaign contributions and lobbying at the state and federal government levels. Against these enormous dollar figures, corruption and greed, making a dent in the opioid epidemic may seem utterly hopeless. But there is something you can do. Get out and vote. Write letters to congress and before saying all treatment centers are bad and only out to take your money, stop and investigate. Phone the treatment center you are considering and ask questions. Questions like; do they take patients without insurance? If not, can they help you find resources in your area? Any good treatment center worth their salt will help you regardless if you have insurance or not. While you might not be attending their programs they can help you access supports in your area. At the very least stay they will stay on the phone with you, so you feel heard and supported. Other questions to ask; do they have scholarship programs? What kind of medical care do they provide? What are their credentials? Are they governed by gold quality standard of care? What type of follow up care do they provide? How do they support the family members? I worked in the treatment industry for 18 years. I spent hundreds of hours on the phone with families and struggling people with addiction. Most never came to treatment but I was able to help them – get the help they needed whether through government funded programs or programs they could afford. Not every treatment center is a money grab. Ignorance is contempt prior to investigation. Don’t assume all treatment centers are bad. Due diligence is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. Before admitting your loved one to treatment, do your homework. Vertava Health has a dedicated team working 24/7. The calls are free. If you have questions about treatment or don’t know what to do, they can help. Pick up the phone and talk with these folks. There is life after addiction. All you have to do, is call. If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 888-601-8693.