Author Archives: Jeffrey Lynne

About Jeffrey Lynne

Jeffrey C. Lynne is a South Florida native, representing individuals and business entities relating to licensing, accreditation, regulatory compliance, business structure, marketing, real estate, zoning and litigation pertaining to substance abuse treatment facilities and sober living residences. Mr. Lynne has been recognized across the region as a leader in progressive public dialogue about the role that substance abuse treatment has within our communities and the fundamental need and right to provide safe and affordable housing for those who are both in treatment for addiction and alcoholism as well as those who are established in their recovery.

Why It Took Google So Long to End Shady Rehab Center Ads

Google has been in our news circle (and yours) a lot lately regarding its announcement that it was going to scale back AdWord campaigns (for how long, we do not know) for the addiction treatment industry.

To date, numerous stories have been written. The one story that has not been written (until now) was the “why” it has taken Google so long to acknowledge its role and moral responsibility within this space (which was also my topic of my presentation, “Public Policy and the Law of Marketing Treatment Programs,” at the recent National Conference on Addiction Disorders in Baltimore, MD).

Michael Smith and his fellow reporters from Bloomberg Businessweek have taken on that task in their story: “Why It Took Google So Long to End Shady Rehab Center Ads”.

It became inherently obvious that Google knew how much money it was making from advertising in this space when they had a presence in the exhibition hall at an addiction conference that I attended a year ago.

In May, scores of people on the front lines of America’s opioid crisis packed the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers conference in Austin to listen to a Google contractor named Josh Weum. Google LLC doesn’t have anything to do with treating addicts, and the company didn’t send Weum there to talk about helping people get clean. He was explaining how to use Google to cash in on America’s $35 billion addiction treatment market.

Specifically, Weum was part of a panel discussion on ethics. But his job was to promote Google’s giant digital marketing business, and for 14 minutes he threw around such terms as desktop immersion, conquesting, multiscreen dynamic, and PPC (pay per click). At the heart of Weum’s pitch was the product that has made Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., the second-most valuable company in the world: the AdWords keyword auction system. Through this system, addiction treatment providers (like any other advertisers) bid for search words. If they win, their ads sit atop the free search results; any time someone clicks on an ad, Google gets paid. Weum’s message was simple: AdWords is the most efficient way to the addicts who can afford treatment. “Google is here to help you, as far as growth,” Weum, who gave his title as AdWords ambassador, told the crowd of owners and operators of addiction treatment facilities.

As I sat there, I found the lack of congruence with what I was hearing with what I had been experiencing in the real world to be troubling, how unethical treatment providers, and in some cases criminals, use AdWords to exploit addicts. As we were already well aware, a recent article by writer Cat Ferguson in Verge further described how treatment operators use Google to deceive vulnerable patients about treatments, facilities, and even the locations of their clinics. Some advertisers posed as caregivers but were really call centers that sold leads on patients to the highest bidder.

So as I sat at NAATP listening to this sales pitch by Google (and for those who know me well), I was fidgeting in my seat and could not bite my tongue much longer:

As the discussion wound down, Jeffrey Lynne, a lawyer in Boca Raton, Fla., had heard enough. Lynne, who specializes in advising addiction treatment centers, stood up and accused Google of not only enabling a dirty business but actively profiting from it. “Google has a fundamental responsibility to stop making money hand over fist by jacking up these ad prices because of an algorithm,” Lynne said, drawing applause from the crowd. “We need you to step up to the plate,” he said. “Because people are using you to human-traffic our children.”

Google reps have since said the company is zeroing in on 70,000 addiction-treatment-related keywords.

“It will be both complicated and expensive—if Google successfully cuts off shady operators, it’s going to cost the company money. But then, no one ever said it was easy getting clean.”

State AGs Expand Investigation of Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors; Ask Insurers to Review Payment, Coverage Terms

​A bipartisan group of 41 state attorneys general (AGs) are expanding their investigation of the role pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors have played in the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The AGs announced September 18 that subpoenas and document requests were sent to five pharmaceutical manufacturers and three distributors as part of a multistate investigation into the companies’ marketing, distribution, and sale of opioids.

The subpoenas were sent to manufacturers Endo International plc, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc.; and Allergan Inc. and distributors Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, which account for 90% of the nation’s opioid distribution. Colorado AG Cynthia Coffman indicated that a supplemental subpoena also was issued to Purdue Pharma.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said the subpoenas “mark a major expansion of the investigations by the Attorneys General into the nationwide opioid epidemic.”

A day earlier, 37 state AGs signed a letter urging insurers to review their payment and coverage polices with an eye toward ensuring they incentivize health care providers to prioritize non-opioid pain management whenever possible.

“The opioid epidemic is the preeminent public health crisis of our time,” said the September 18 letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans President and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Tavenner.

“The unnecessary over-p
rescription of opioid painkillers is a significant factor contributing to the problem,” the letter noted. “Insurance companies can play an important role in reducing opioid prescriptions and making it easier for patients to access other forms of pain management treatment,” the AGs urged.

Note: Appreciation is extended to the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) for preparing this news release.

Google Regulates Fraudulent Addiction Marketing

After months if not years of industry leaders complaining about the gamesmanship in addiction treatment center marketing, and the findings by a Grand Jury in Palm Beach County, Florida, the nation’s search engine leader, Google, has finally clamped down on what has been found to be substantive marketing abuses by internet-savvy providers.

It is sad, however, that what is otherwise a very viable (if not the only) ability to find a treatment programs that match needs has become a “no man’s land” of mines and traps for the unwary.

For now, we believe that Google is simply “putting the brakes” on a runaway problem until they can resolve the problem that has been created.

We have been warning the industry that this was coming for weeks, if not months. We have been helping clients with alternative advertising avenues. Some have gotten ahead of this curve. Others, well, have not.

The exceptional article from Cat Ferguson of The Verge can be found here.

The article from the NY Times can be found here.

And, of course, video of our polite unsolicited “confrontation” with the Google rep at the 2017 NAATP Leadership Conference can be seen here (Pt.1Pt. 2).

At the end of the day, the overriding public policy in healthcare is that our nation wants patients to voluntarily and intelligently choose their healthcare providers. That is absolutely the case in addiction healthcare, where an overwhelming number of patients travel for treatment.

What We Are Reading This Week From Across the Nation

A lot of reporting in the treatment space over the past few days, and we appreciate the Kaiser Family Foundation for aggregating the stories so we can provide them to you here.

  1. Drug Overdose from Fentanyl Spinning Out of ControlThe New York Times: The First Count Of Fentanyl Deaths In 2016: Up 540% In Three Years
    Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times’s estimate in June, which was based on earlier preliminary data. (Katz, 9/2)
  2. Controversial Nomination for Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy
    Stat: Trump Nominates Republican Congressman Tom Marino As Drug Czar 
    President Trump on Friday nominated Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy as the nation’s “drug czar,” months after he had officially withdrawn from consideration. Marino, an attorney who has served in the House of Representatives since 2011, has a lengthy track record of supporting enforcement-side drug policy as well as improved drug treatment. (Facher, 9/2)
  3. Abuse of OTC Drugs Can Be Harmful As Well
    The New York Times: Opioids Aren’t The Only Pain Drugs To Fear 
    Last month, a White House panel declared the nation’s epidemic of opioid abuse and deaths “a national public health emergency,” a designation usually assigned to natural disasters. A disaster is indeed what it is, with 142 Americans dying daily from drug overdoses, a fourfold increase since 1999, more than the number of people killed by gun homicides and vehicular crashes combined. A 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 3.8 million Americans use opioids for nonmedical reasons every month. (Brody, 9/4)
  4. Private Equity Continues Investment in Drug Treatment Facilities in 2017
    The Wall Street Journal: Private-Equity Pours Cash Into Opioid-Treatment Sector 
    Private-equity firms are piling into a new business opportunity: the opioid addiction crisis. Drawn by soaring demand, expanded insurance coverage and the chance to consolidate a highly fragmented market, firms plowed $2.9 billion into treatment facilities last year, up from $11.4 million in 2011, according to research firm PitchBook Data Inc. The number of private-equity deals rose to 45 from 25. (Whalen and Cooper, 9/2)
  5. The Science of Addiction – Do We Finally Have the Tech to See Inside the Brain?
    The Washington Post: Addiction And The Brain 
    Today’s war on drugs isn’t fought by first ladies or celebrity advocates. Armed with MRI machines, electromagnetic pulses and experimental drugs, scientists are on the battle’s front lines. In the cover story of September’s National Geographic, Fran Smith explores the different fronts of a war being fought in laboratories and universities all over the world. Armed with the tools of science and with the help of people who struggle with addictions to substances and self-destructive behavior, researchers are working to unravel the mysteries of the addicted brain. (Blakemore, 9/2)
  6. Crystalmeth Continues Its Journey Outside Rural America and Into Our Cities.
    The Wall Street Journal: Drug Traffickers Push Meth Into New York City  
    Mexican traffickers are supplying the New York City area with methamphetamine, attempting to create new clients in what historically has been a weak market for the drug. “The Mexican cartels have been sending loads up to New York and telling traffickers, ‘See if you can get customers,’ ” said James Hunt, special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York division. “They want to create an addict population.” (Ramey, 9/4)
  7. Vivitrol Marketing Continues to Capture the Attention of State Funded Programs.
    New Orleans Times-Picayune: Louisiana Prisons Start Administering New Drug To Treat Opioid Addicts  
    The use of Vivitrol is the latest trend in opioid treatment. In the first quarter of 2017, Vivitrol sales totaled $58 million, a 33 percent increase over the previous year, according to a June report by ProPublica. Several state prisons, including those in Illinois, Wyoming and Wisconsin, started administering the drug to inmates last year. Even more drug courts and local jails are using it: ProPublica tallied up more than 450 public Vivitrol initiatives in 39 states. (O’Donoghue, 9/1)
  8. The War on Drugs and Caring for the Addicted Inmate.
    The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore County Facing Higher Costs For Inmate Care Due To Addiction, Mental Health Services  
    The cost of providing medical care for inmates at the Baltimore County jail in Towson is rising more than 50 percent — several million dollars a year — due primarily to an increase in inmates and detainees with opioid addiction, mental illness or chronic diseases. The County Council is set to vote Tuesday on a contract for a private company, PrimeCare Medical, to manage medical, dental and behavioral health treatment for the jail’s roughly 1,200 inmates. (Wood, 9/5)
  9. Recovery High Schools – the Continuation of Recovery Educated-Based Programs.
    St. Louis Public Radio: New Missouri High School Will Help Teens Struggling With Addiction Avoid Temptations 
    Teens who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse face many temptations after complete treatment. A new private high school opening soon in suburban St. Louis will offer them an educational environment free of some of those potential triggers. (Delaney, 9/4)
  10. Is Insurance Also to Blame for Addiction?
    Idaho Statesman: Insurers Tell Idaho Pain Patients: Try More-Addictive Drugs 
    In at least three cases, patients with Regence BlueShield of Idaho plans were denied Radnovich’s choice of a Butrans patch — a long-acting version of the opioid buprenorphine that is “Schedule III,” with a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Instead of the patch, Regence was willing to pay for a fentanyl patch or morphine tablets. (Dutton, 9/4)

Report: Physician opioid prescriptions are higher with lower medical school rank

Physicians prescribing the most opioids tend to have attended lower-ranked medical schools, according to a recent report by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In fact, many graduates of highly ranked schools did not write any opioid prescriptions. Researchers also noted that doctors of osteopathy (DOs) wrote a higher number of opioid prescriptions on average than medical doctors (MDs). They found that this prescribing behavior was consistent across various physician specialties, locations, and patient types.

Training was likely the most important factor for differences in prescribing behavior, according to the report. They found that differences in opioid prescribing patterns between graduates of higher- and lower-ranked medical schools were smaller when physicians received training on pain management. The rank of a physician’s medical school mattered less than the type of training he or she received.

Policymakers and physician educators could offer pain management training to help combat opioid addiction. For example, at the urging of the White House, in March of 2016, more than 60 medical schools agreed to incorporate the Centers for Disease Control’s pain management guidelines in their curriculum.

Background: Researchers used prescriber data from QuintilesIMS, which included background information from the American Medical Association and medical school rankings from US News and World Report’s, “Best Medical Schools: Research Rankings.”

Related: One in 12 US physicians received opioid-related payments – largely honoraria or speaking fees – from manufacturers of opioid drugs between 2013 and 2015, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health. In total, drug makers paid over $46 million to 68,177 physicians. Researchers compared this with payments for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also used to treat pain, and found that total payments for NSAIDs were much less, around $13 million.

The majority of payments to physicians were for honoraria or speaking fees. Researchers excluded payments tied to research. They studied data from the Open Payments database. CMS requires pharmaceutical companies disclose payments to physicians and posts the data publically.

(Sources: Molly Schnell and Janet Currie, “Addressing the opioid epidemic: Is there a role for physician education?” National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2017; Scott Hadland, Maxwell Krieger, et al., “Industry payments to physicians for opioid products,” American Journal of Public Health, September 2017)

Opioid Emergency, Deductible Waivers,… and Methadone?

On May 3, 2017, the Governor of the State of Florida signed Executive Order Number 17-146 declaring that the opioid epidemic threatens the State with an emergency and that, as a consequence of this danger, a state of emergency exists. Also, in the executive order, the Governor directed the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a statewide public health emergency, pursuant to its authority in section 381.00315, F.S. On June 29, 2017, the Governor signed Executive Order Number 17-177 to extend the state of emergency declaration.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) was recently awarded a two-year grant to address this opioid epidemic.

Many Floridians involved in this discussion were excited that expansive use of Medication-Assisted Treatment and other modalities would be used to address the growing epidemic within underserved populations using a medical model, rather than exclusively through traditional counseling treatment.

However, what appears to be occurring, though more information still needs to be obtained, is that DCF will use these funds in part to expand onlyMethadone Medication-Assisted Treatment services in needed areas of the state as part of a comprehensive plan to address the opioid crisis. We do not believe this includes Suboxone or Vivitrol.

This also does not appear to help the majority of Floridians who may have insurance but cannot cover the costs of treatment due to treatment plans that continue to demand exorbitant co-pays and deductibles for SUD treatment. Stated otherwise, you either have SUD or do not. The economic decision of whether to pay a deducible becomes secondary.

While Florida does allow a statutory “deferral” of payment of deductibles in order to obtain payment, this allowance has been sometimes abused in the past with faux attempts to collect the deductible after-the-fact.

Florida mandates “balance billing” which means the provider MUST use all reasonable methods to collect on the balance. The fees for services are published and provided in advance as required by DCF rule, so the patient and their family know or have access to know what they are getting themselves into.

Ironically, perhaps, the “bad” providers who “forgive” the debt are alleged to have committed “Patient Brokering” for “inducing” a patient to treatment under the guise of waiving the co-pays and deductibles.

The “good” providers that follow the law and make every reasonable attempt to collect on the deductibles are called “heartless” or “ruthless” for “taking advantage of a family who is otherwise suffering a health tragedy.”

This law certainly must be changed.

For now, DCF has to revise the licensure requirements since methadone programs were the only type of service provider issued licenses based upon a needs assessment.  DCF has determined there is a critical need for more methadone medication-assisted treatment providers.

This rule makes changes to permanent Rule 65D-30.014 F.A.C., which is attached for reference, relating to licensure requirements for methadone medication-assisted treatment programs.

Pharmacy Benefit Groups Begin to Limit Opioids, Over AMA Objection

Express Scripts, the country’s largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), announced plans to roll out a new program nationwide that will limit the number and strength of opioid medications that doctors can prescribe to first-time users.

The program, which will begin on Sept. 1, is being put in place to help reverse the country’s opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press. President Donald Trump last week said he was prepared to declare a national emergency to combat the deadly opioid crisis.

The move by Express Scripts was met with resistance by the American Medical Association, the largest U.S. organization that represents doctors. It said decisions about prescriptions and treatment plans should be made by doctors and patients, the AP reported.

In a pilot study of more than 100,000 members new to opioid therapy, the company saw a 38% reduction in hospitalizations and a 40% reduction in emergency room visits when compared to a control group during 6 months of follow-up.

The AMA does not support the program’s expansion.

Medicaid has implemented policies such as prescription drug monitoring programs, quantity limits on opioid dispensing, prior authorization requirements, preferred drug lists and patient review and restriction. In 2012, 15% of Medicaid enrollees had at least one prescription opioid claim, and the program paid more than $500 million for more than 34 million claims for opioid drugs.

Cigna also recently announced that it recorded a 12% decline in customers’ use of prescribed opioids in the last year, which it accomplished by leveraging its claims data to detect patterns of misuse and by working with doctors.

Why is the AMA is objecting is left to anecdote, conjecture and speculation.

Saying a “one-size-fits-all” approach regarding the number of prescriptions takes away physician discretion, Patrice Harris, M.D., who chairs the AMA’s Opioids Task Force, told the AP that doctors have already voluntarily reduced opioid prescriptions by 17% and are directing patients to other forms of pain management.

Teens Now Succumbing to the Opioid Epidemic in Record Numbers

A new report out from the CDC on Wednesday morning highlights the dramatic shifts in overdose deaths among teens ages 15 to 19.

After more than doubling between 1999 and 2007, the overdose death rate among that group dropped 26 percent between 2008 and 2014. But the rate dramatically rose in 2015.

Opioids — and specifically, heroin — were the primary cause of drug overdoses among adolescents in 2015.

Key findings from the National Vital Statistics System

  • The death rate due to drug overdose among adolescents aged 15–19 more than doubled from 1999 (1.6 per 100,000) to 2007 (4.2), declined by 26% from 2007 to 2014 (3.1), and then increased in 2015 (3.7).
  • The drug overdose death rate increased between 1999 and the mid-2000s for both males and females but only males had a subsequent decline between 2007 and 2014.
  • For both male and female adolescents, the majority of drug overdose deaths in 2015 were unintentional.
  • Death rates for drug overdoses among those aged 15–19 in 2015 were highest for opioids, specifically heroin.

Meanwhile, as the opioid epidemic rages on, the lawsuits against drug manufacturers and distributors continue to pile up. South Carolina’s attorney general just filed a lawsuit against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, alleging that the company used shady marketing tactics that contributed to the epidemic. And in Cincinnati, city officials are suing three major prescription drug distributors, alleging that they broke a federal law that requires them to report suspicious opioid orders.

At this juncture, we remain sadly pessimistic that the Trump Administration is not going to fulfill cornerstone campaign promises to tackle the epidemic head-on. The recent declaration of national health emergency did send an important message of acknowledgement, and hopefully will expedite access to resources and different tools to respond, those resources are often only available to the indigent and underserved areas. This could be used to staff up or train providers for medication-assisted treatment, which is considered the gold standard for opioid addiction care. Or it could be used to waive state licensing requirements for doctors, letting addiction specialists go into areas that currently don’t have enough access to such care.

But for the balance of the nation, it may not mean much.

Pushback Against Plan to Medicalize Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Pressure has been mounting in Florida and across the country for state departments of health to take over regulation of public and private treatment providers, the thought being that we have for far too long bifurcated healthcare at the neck.

We had previously written about NJ Gov. Chris Christie announcement on July 11, 2017, of his decision to reorganize the $1.2 billion NJ agency (Dept. of Human Services) in charge of mental health and addiction services. In NJ, that agency is funded at a rate of approximately 10:1 as contrasted with Florida and other states, where the local humans services agency tends to be the least funded and the one with the lowest morale. (To that point, Palm Beach’s WPTV (NBC affiliate) ran a story on July 28, 2017, about how Florida’s Department of Children and Families’ employees were falsifying records relating to child welfare inspections simply because they were overworked, overburdened, and underpaid.)

Back to NJ, last week, experts appeared before legislators in Trenton to testify on how the plan, proposed by Gov. Chris Christie, to shift mental health and addiction services to the state Department of Health would create probable disruption for providers and clients.

“While we strongly believe integration of behavioral health and substance abuse is important to integrate with physical care, we believe this move is not a viable way of making this happen,” said Barbara Johnston, director of policy and advocacy for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.

The shift could involve moving millions in state funding, a couple hundred employees and regulation changes between the two departments.

According to a copy of his reorganization plan, Christie said the shift would “remove bureaucratic obstacles to the integration of physical and behavioral health care, and effectively address substance-use disorder as the public health crisis that it is.”

A Physician’s Perspective

We interviewed Dr. Robert Moran, a well-regarded South Florida psychiatrist who specializes in addiction medicine. He is also the founder, CEO and Medical Director of the Family Center for Recovery in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Psychiatric illness means that an organ of the body is dysfunctional–the brain. It is silly and naive to think that a social service agency is capable of overseeing the licensure and quality of care of psychiatric treatment centers. It is also misguided to see the disease of addiction as something that should be treated differently than other psychiatric illnesses; that is, in a ‘rehab’. As a physician trained in medical school to diagnose all medical illnesses, I do not see brain illness differently from heart or lung illness with regard to the fact that we illicit symptoms, identify signs, make diagnoses and prescribe treatment. Of all the medical specialties, psychiatry is the most difficult and most sophisticated. [DCF has] no idea as to whether we are providing quality standard-of-care because they have no medical training. They may see that I have a patient on 7 psychotropic medicines and have no idea whether it is appropriate, but they will point out that one digit in the phone number for the abuse hotline is incorrect.

I, personally, am licensed by the [Florida Department of Health]. My psychiatric practice is under their auspices. The treatment that I provide to the patients in my facility should be monitored by that same agency.

Moving licensure and oversight to DOH is not only logical, it is absolutely necessary if we expect to get the opioid epidemic under control. DOH knows what standard of care is for all illnesses. It is able to recognize when a facility/practitioner is not meeting the standard. DOH would be able to identify that a licensed entity is not recommending anti-craving medicines which have been proven to decrease use of substances (almost all patients referred to us from other facilities have not been offered/prescribed proven anti-craving medicines at the referring facility).

The Perspective of Recovery Support Providers

The majority of speakers said they favored more integration but not at a time when community agencies are already undergoing a major transition from a contract-based payment system to a fee-for-service system.

Johnston and others said the timing for reorganization of the mental health division, which oversees community-based mental health and substance-use programs, the state’s four psychiatric hospitals and other behavioral health programs, could hurt agencies already struggling with the payment transition.

Debra Wentz, CEO and president of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, said on top of that, uncertainty on the impacts of what a federal health care repeal could do to mental health and addiction services in New Jersey is another reason for hesitation.

Others were hesitant to separate mental health and addiction services from wrap-around services such as housing, food assistance, employment, Medicaid oversight and others that currently exist within the human services department.

John Lehman of the Florida Association of Recovery Residences brings a unique and educated perspective to this issue, particularly the interplay between treatment and recovery support services:

Though integration of SAMH [Substance Abuse and Mental Health] and Medical Healthcare continues to present challenges to New Jersey, Florida and many other states, the greater challenge is the profound failure of federal and state agencies to fully embrace recovery-oriented support systems. Contrary to much rhetoric, recovery support systems are largely ignored by payer systems. This results in what can be described as the Catapult Practice wherein persons exiting quality addiction treatment are launched towards mutual aid and other recovery support platforms in hopes they will make it across the relapse chasm. Over two-thirds fail to cross the divide resulting in either premature death or repeated and costly episodes of acute care. We must build bridges to recovery predicated on evidence-based practices and interventions appropriate for delivery by credentialed peers in nonclinical settings. One of the most appropriate settings from which to provide these evidence-based interventions is certified recovery residences measured to be complaint with NARR Quality Standards.

John Jacobi, Seton Hall director of the Center for Health and Pharmaceutical Law and Policy, said years of research and study on integration issues has shown that the fragmentation of health care delivery systems is one of biggest issues legislators have had to face.

Jacobi said regardless if the plan gets passed or not, integration between mental and physical health must happen, which should include a streamlined process where providers can get a single license to provide behavioral, substance and medical treatment.

“I believe, from our research, that behavioral health integration saves lives,” he said. “That reform of New Jersey’s licensure system for outpatient care is necessary, but the process for integration is a long one.”

The Florida Legislature Sends A Message To The Country-We Will Protect The Recovery Community

On June 14, 2017, the Florida Legislature sent to Governor Rick Scott for signature House Bill (HB) 807, which has unofficially been referred to as the “Practices of Substance Abuse Service Providers Act” and which comprehensive law implements several of the recommendations from the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force’s Proviso Committee and the Palm Beach County Grand Jury to address the problems within the substance abuse treatment industry. Effective July 1, 2017, HB 807 is a global approach to the regulation of the treatment and sober living industries which to date, have operated in a “grey zone” due to lack of clarity in existing laws as well as operated, by some, simply fraudulently.

Click here to read more.