Addiction Treatment Industry Under Scrutiny in South Florida

fake treatment centers

With the opioid crisis in the U.S. growing to unprecedented epidemic proportions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took action by completing what it calls the biggest, opioid-related “fraud bust” ever to be conducted by the federal government. According to a Palm Beach Post article, Justice Department prosecutors have charged over 75 people in South Florida (mostly doctors) with “taking advantage” of the deadly opioid epidemic.

However, the Post article also points out this crackdown failed to take appropriate action against another huge problem exacerbating the opioid addiction crisis–hundreds of fraudulent recovery houses operating in Florida at this moment. (Articles often cite ‘Treatment Centers’ when they actually intend to refer to ‘recovery housing’)

“Junkie Hunter”

Arrests in S FL for Patient BrokeringRaided by FBI agents two years ago, a Delray Beach addiction treatment center owned by Eric Snyder was shut down due to Snyder fraudulently billing client insurance companies for nearly $60 million over a five-year time period. Described in the complaint as a “junkie hunter”, Snyder is accused of deliberately bribing addicts who may or may not have been seeking treatment, with cash, airline tickets, and trips to expensive strip clubs. Snyder’s cohort, Chris Fuller, regularly trolled motels known for housing drug addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings searching for vulnerable addicts who could be lured into entering their addiction treatment center and billed for nonexistent services.

The case is ongoing. Snyder’s attorney states that his client did not “intentionally participate in fraudulent billing practices and has been involved in saving the lives of many addicts”.

How Fake Treatment Centers Operate

South Florida has been hampered recently by unscrupulous treatment centers seeking young substance abusers who are able to remain on their parent’s insurance policy according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implemented by President Obama in 2010. For example, these fake treatment centers let addicts continue using while overcharging insurance companies for unnecessary drug and medical tests. They also utilize patients (who are still abusing drugs and not receiving treatment) as recruiters for reeling in addicts vulnerable to manipulation using money and free places to live.

Addiction treatment center scams often involve so-called patients going through a minimal recovery program and living in sober homes that are financially linked to fraudulent treatment programs. “Sober” homes operated by hucksters purporting to be addiction specialists are usually suburban residences transformed into flophouses in which addicts can continue abusing drugs. In fact, some of these fake treatment centers provide addicts with incentives such as gift cards, cash, or in some extreme cases, their first insurance premium payment just to have them participate in campaigns meant to defraud insurance companies.

The worst consequence of addicts becoming involved with fraudulent treatment centers is they are allowed to continue abusing drugs and receive no professional help. Many such patients end up dying from overdoses or using drugs contaminated with fentanyl or carfentanil. Others die from medical complications attributed to serious drug addiction due to continuous relapsing. To help addicts and their families recognize fake addiction treatment centers and halfway houses, the South County Recovery Residence Association and the Florida Association of Recovery Residences can provide valuable information essential for avoiding criminals intent on preying on vulnerable individuals. These organizations perform inspections on halfway house and only certify those that meet high-quality standards.

Where to Receive Professional Addiction Treatment

The Treatment Center Fights AddictionOutpatient Services in South Florida fully supports reform of the addiction treatment industry and actively takes measures to assist law enforcement in shutting down fraudulent sober homes and addiction centers. We focus on one thing–getting addicts the caring, evidence-based help they need to beat their addiction. One reason why we so adamantly support industry reforms is that insurance agencies are becoming more reluctant to provide help for addicts entering addiction treatment. Consequently, this makes it harder for transparent and honest centers like ours to be able to provide the counseling-intensive care absolutely essential for recovering addicts to avoid relapse. We continue to actively assist local commissions to improve industry regulations meant to quickly investigate questionable addiction treatment centers and shut them down, if necessary. We uphold our solid reputation as one of South Florida’s most distinguished addiction recovery centers by leading the fight to reduce addiction rates and hope to one day extinguish the opioid epidemic. If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to heroin, pain pills, methamphetamine or other addictive substance, please call us today. We are here to help 24/7/365 by providing the following services:

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, take a moment to consider contacting Outpatient Services today at (844)211-7944. We are nonjudgemental, compassionate and understanding of what addicts and their families are suffering through and will patiently and objectively discuss our program with you and how we can help you or a loved one achieve recovery and sobriety.