Staying Safe From Patient Brokering

hooded person texting

Bodies for dollars is a lucrative way for treatment centers to fill beds, but it’s against the law and dangerous for patients. Patient brokering occurs online, over the phone, through text messages, and in person. The patients may think they are being referred to a good center or home by someone who understands what they are going through and has their best interests at heart. But that is not always the case. In the worst case scenarios, brokers are paying addicts to use, or plying them with drugs with gifts and free stuff to get them hooked again so they can be referred to a center.

In fact, these brokers are moving bodies for dollars. They get paid for each new patient who receives treatment for addiction. Brokers are working outside of sober homes and nearby grocery stores, coffee shops or other common hangouts, they are working online as middlemen, making calls and texting promises of airfare, gift cards, free housing, and even cash bonuses. They try to catch people early in the program, when they are the most likely to stumble. They will do whatever it takes to get more bodies into the homes and centers that hired them to increase their intakes.

For Vulnerable people Patient Brokering Can Be Lethal

Brokers make dangerous deals with recovering addicts, like promising $2500.00 for a 10-day treatment. Dirty urine gets the prospective the first $500, with the rest payable after completion of the program. Some even supply the drugs to make sure the patient pees dirty to gain entrance to the program. Sober homes may be run by brokers who keep their guests hooked, pimping them to rehab centers to sober homes until something gives.

For brokers, any relapse can mean big money.  So, all heading into treatment centers have to do their due diligence to stay safe. Research rehab centers and sober homes online, and back up your research with phone calls, read testimonials, and reach out to reviewers to get their full opinions before giving away your information or making a decision.

Key Takeaways to Stay Safe

ONLINE: Legitimate rehabilitation centers should have their license on their website, and their About Us should be populated with the credentials, positions, and images of each staff member. Legitimate centers and homes comply with HIPAA regulations. Do you see evidence that the home or center you are considering is complying with those patient privacy laws?

Search the name of the facility followed by SCAM or FRAUD, look them up on LinkedIn and search and read all reviews. If there are testimonials online, read them and if you can reach out to a reviewer, do it.

BY PHONE: Call the licensing agency in the state of the center or home to see if it is a registered business. Is it certified by the State Health Department?  Call the Better Business Bureau and see if complaints have been filed.