A recent article stated that to receive more insurance dollars, some South Florida treatment centers are focusing on relapse instead of patient recovery. Over the years there has been a rapid explosion in Florida of troubled treatment centers, group homes and sober homes where many addicts fall deeper into addiction. Florida has more sober homes per capita of any state and treatment centers are a $1 billion business in Palm Beach County alone, according to federal officials.
South Florida continues to feel the effect of the opioid epidemic; there are two opioid overdose deaths daily in Palm Beach County. Statewide deaths from a combination of heroin laced with fentanyl rose 75% in 2015, claiming more 2,500 lives. Dave Aronberg, Florida State Attorney General, says that as the opioid epidemic continues to destroy families across the country, there is a need for a real recovery network.
The FBI has shut down one operation that collected almost $19 million by fraudulently billing insurance companies for $58 million over four years. The claims included unnecessary or faked urinalysis samples, double-billing, and paying kickbacks to patients. Other tactics included paying “patient brokers” to illegally direct patients to particular treatment centers.
Making it more difficult to crack down on the scammers, fraudulent treatment centers exploit state and federal laws making oversight difficult. Children up to age 26 are now covered under their parent’s insurance, leaving more money to be made. Those in treatment are protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act and health privacy laws, making it harder to gain access to falsified records.
Many are continuing to view Florida treatment centers, especially those in South Florida, as places of exploitation for those trying to get help. “It’s sad that treatment centers in South Florida are garnering this type of press, when there are those, like Lifeskills South Florida, that provide quality, ethical treatment, and are focused on successful patient outcomes,” says Klay Weaver, Lifeskills South Florida CEO. Lifeskills South Florida continues to produce positive results in recovery using a holistic approach in treating adults (18+) who may be facing challenges with psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring substance use disorders.
The 2017 Florida Statutes included new legislature for patient brokering and new limits on deceptive marketing techniques. Recently, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach approved standards for group homes that would require them to be accredited by a regulatory organization such as the Florida Association of Recovery Residences. Added Klay, “We understand the importance of tougher legislature, and we welcome it. We are always looking for ways that we can step-up and improve our quality of care.”
Recently Lifeskills South Florida was accepted as a National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) member, a national nonprofit organization whose members are Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Wilderness Therapy Programs, and adult therapeutic programs. These programs provide treatment for adolescents and young adults with emotional and behavioral difficulties. NATSAP is a resource to help inform health care professionals and families about the many residential placement alternatives available to struggling young people.
“We take our accreditations and memberships seriously and know that we are being looked at as a National Center of Excellence, and we want to stay that way,” he said.
In addition to being a NATSAP member, Lifeskills South Florida is licensed by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR), Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA), and is nationally accredited by CARF.
Located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, our nationally certified and licensed professional staff uses five distinct tracks to customize individual treatment plans: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Chemical Dependency, Trauma/PTSD, and Cognitive Remediation. For over 26 years, we have meeting individuals where they are in their disorder. We use a thorough assessment to design a program that meets our client’s needs so they can take the next step towards a fulfilling life.
Lifeskills can help you or a loved one that is suffering from a mental health or substance use disorder. To learn more about our accredited residential and outpatient treatment programs, please contact us.