Tag Archives: addiction

Top 10 Reasons to Register for the FARR Annual Conference

1. If Recovery Residences don’t demonstrate that we have successfully organized under the FARR umbrella, well-funded and highly organized NIMBY forces will kick our butts in the next legislative session.

2. We’re now beginning to set the agenda rather than simply react to those fueled by stigma and ignorance. This requires unity, solidarity and scale. Join us and help make a difference!

3. Responsible and ethical service providers within the recovery residence and IOP sectors must group together now so that all stakeholders can distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad guys”.

4. This is your trade association! Your voice and active participation matters. Sitting idly by, pointing fingers and lamenting the sad state of affairs isn’t going to change much, is it? Let’s get connected!

5. Those of us who are “fighting the good fight” on behalf of this sector need your support. Surely it’s not too much to ask for a one day & $95.00 commitment to support those who volunteer hundreds of their own?

6. Conference content is timely, on task and addresses important issues impacting all sectors along the care continuum. Together we can shape the future of ROSC here in Florida.

7. State legislators and local, municipal leaders are betting on their belief that as a group we’re too self-centered to gain organized momentum. Don’t let them gloat next session with a smug “told you so”.

8. FADAA represents the ‘managed entities” here in Florida. These are potential referral sources for many recovery residences. DAF, CARP, BARC, Henderson, New Horizons, Operation Par, Stewart Marchman to name but a few.

9. Aren’t most of us all about the value of peer-to-peer interactivity? This conference is a very real opportunity to network with your peers and engage in dialog concerning issues that directly impact the entire spectrum.

10. In the substance abuse treatment continuum, it all comes down to “reputation, reputation, reputation”. Florida has developed a national reputation as the Wild, Wild, West. Together, we become a force to restore our good name.

If you are interested in attending, you can register here. Get a conference schedule here and I hope to see you at my townhall discussion about the “Legal Challenges with Rent Assistance.”

License/Zoning Compliance Update – Sanctions

Many of you are aware that the statutes (Ch. 397, Fla. Stat.) and regulations (Ch. 65D-30, FAC) governing substance abuse treatment facilities require zoning confirmation from the relevant local government as a condition of licensure.

While the laws and rules do not require this “zoning confirmation” to be in any particular format, the Department has prepared a proposed form (attached) to be used so that there can be no question that the local government understands the modality/component that it is approving. Stated otherwise, a generalized letter from a local government saying something to the effect of “the property is question is zoned ‘Medical’ is not in and of itself sufficient, since Use definitions as to what is a “permitted use” or “conditional use” vary across jurisdictions.

It has come to our attention that a similar DCF zoning verification form was submitted to a local municipality, identifying the specific component seeking approval.

After the form was retrieved from the city, the applicant purportedly checked off additional boxes on the form, without the local government’s knowledge or consent.

Aside from being overwhelmingly unethical, this action could be a violation of s. 397.415, Florida Statutes, subjecting the parties to significant sanctions.

More specifically, the statute provides:

397.415 Denial, suspension, and revocation; other remedies.—

(1) If the department determines that an applicant or licensed service provider or licensed service component thereof is not in compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements, the department may deny, suspend, revoke, or impose reasonable restrictions or penalties on the license or any portion of the license. In such case, the department:

(a) May impose a moratorium on admissions to any service component of a licensed service provider if the department determines that conditions are a threat to the public health or safety.

(b) May impose an administrative penalty of up to $500 per day against a licensed service provider operating in violation of any fire-related, safety-related, or health-related statutory or regulatory requirement. Fines collected under this paragraph must be deposited in the Operations and Maintenance Trust Fund.

(c) May suspend or revoke the license of a service provider or may suspend or revoke the license as to the operation of any service component or location identified on the license if, after notice, the department determines that a service provider has failed to correct the substantial or chronic violation of any statutory or regulatory requirement that impacts the quality of care.

(2) If a provider’s license is revoked, the service provider is barred from submitting any application for licensure of the affected facility or service component to the department for a period of 1 year after the revocation. If the provider’s license is revoked as to any service component or location identified on the license, the provider is barred from applying for licensure of the affected service component or location for 1 year after the revocation.

(3) Proceedings for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a service provider’s license must be conducted in accordance with chapter 120.

(4) The department may maintain an action in court to enjoin the operation of any licensed or unlicensed provider, service component, or location in violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter.

In addition, and of greater concern, perhaps, are the criminal penalties for participating in the felony of a scheme to defraud, in violation of s. 817.034, Fla. Stat. and Mail/Wire Fraud (both a state and federal crime) pursuant to 18 U.S.C.A. § 1341.

This type of behavior should not be tolerated and, if true, is another unfortunate chapter in the otherwise poorly regulated world of substance abuse treatment providers and those who facilitate the obtaining of licenses for such providers.

How to Reconcile Integration with Anti-Kickback Laws and Market-Based Compensation

“Many hospitals are hiring and contracting with doctors to boost referrals and serve members in their coordinated-care networks. But how to pay those doctors has become a legally perilous area under the federal Stark and anti-kickback laws and the False Claims Act, with whistle-blowers, their attorneys and the Justice Department watching these transactions closely. Halifax and other recent big-dollar whistle-blower cases involving allegations that hospitals violated Stark self-referral rules in paying physicians highlight the huge stakes for hospitals, which are at risk for triple damages under the False Claims Act. Those damages are based on total billings, making the potential damages in these cases enormous.”

“The tough part for hospital leaders is that these legal pressures are at odds with public policy and market forces pushing health systems toward greater integration to improve care coordination and reduce costs. The federal government hasn’t reconciled its goal of encouraging integration with its desire to prove that it’s tough on fraud and abuse. As a result, systems pursuing integration will need to be even more vigilant because they’re stepping closer to the line where traditional Stark law enforcement might come into play.”

Read the full story here:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20140308/MAGAZINE/303089982/caught-between-competing-pressures?AllowView=VXQ0UnpwZTVDZlNXL1I3TkErT1lBajNja0U4VUNlWlZFQk1JQmc9PQ==&utm_campaign=am

The Future of Substance Abuse Treatment

I just received the attached from Addiction Professional Magazine, which, in my opinion, is a must read about the antiquated system of substance abuse treatment models that are employed and how existing RESEARCH needs to be reviewed and implemented.

Quote: [Integration] is not a gift to the mental health and substance abuse field. We¹re not being given something just because it’s fair, just because it’s our time, or just because there¹s a Democratic administration. You can¹t run the rest of healthcare if you don¹t manage substance use and mental health.

Me: Housing is an integral part of this equation as well. The best treatment outcomes occur when safe and secure housing exists. It’s a human necessity.

This is a great article that discusses Integration:
Integration demands highest standard of care

Zoning – Cities Can’t Discriminate Against Providers

Once again (and again, and again), the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) and the CAVEmen (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) pitchforks came out in mass to protest a methadone clinic opening in Philadelphia, notwithstanding that methadone clinics are otherwise allowed.

“The court also used a Third Circuit finding to bolster its conclusion, citing a 2007 ruling that found that municipalities are not free to hold methadone clinics to different zoning standards than ordinary medical clinics.”

There is no basis to treat medical and health clinics any differently from substance abuse clinics, but for the type of person to be treated.

I often find it comical (not really) when I bring to NIMBY’s attention that a MOD (medical office building) permits psychiatrists who have the right to see would-be mass murderers and potential child molesters, but heaven forbid people seeking recovery and solace from the scourge of drug abuse seek similar (if not less intense) medical and behavioral care, and the pitchforks and torches come off the shelves.

Check out this LAW360 article:
Pa. Court Says Philly Zoning Can’t Preclude Meth Clinics

Prompt Pay Laws

Many have been calling in recent days regarding insurance carriers refusing to pay for claims for treatment, essentially saying “sue us for your money.” Aside from potentially discriminatory undertones, this is patently illegal.

The State of Florida has what are known as “Prompt Pay” laws which require an insurance carrier to do just that. While I won¹t get into the details here, I thought I would share this article with you to illustrate that ³you are not alone² when it comes to this headache.

Read more about them with Law360’s article:
Hospitals Can Sue Under Prompt Pay Law: NY Appeals Court

Wellington town hall meeting to address ‘sober homes’

Anyone with an interest should absolutely attend this meeting. Don’t let it be a one-decided discussion. Let them see the “Faces of Recovery” as well as hear from you that you and those you compassionately serve will not tolerate being treated as a second-class citizen due to your/their disability. I am reminded the following poem “First they came” is a famous statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

Get details here!

Roslyn Carter

In 1966, the idea of advocating for people with mental illnesses was even less popular than it is today, cloaked in shame, stigma, and discrimination. Mrs. Carter took it on anyway and for the past four decades has addressed issues related to consequences of mental illness that cry out for reinvention and transformation. She seems to come from a place that overrides fear and shame and goes right to compassion. And it’s the compassion that has fueled her commitment to a segment of our population that had been dismissed as having nothing meaningful to contribute to our society and needing nothing more than to be taken care of.

Behavioral Health recently wrote a great article that we would recommend: Rosalynn Carter: Stigma has ‘a long way to go’

OIG’s 2014 plan promises scrutiny for behavioral health

By Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief of Behavioral Healthcare

In a recent story, “Compliance programs stress effectiveness” (Behavioral Healthcare, Nov./Dec. 2013 issue), Fabio van der Merwe, director of quality improvement and compliance at DeKalb Community Services Board (Atlanta, Ga.) noted that each year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services releases an annual work plan.
This plan, he says, “puts compliance officers ‘on notice’ as to the focus of federal Medicare and Medicaid enforcement activity for the coming year.” In its recently unveiled 2014 work plan, the OIG committed to continuing a range of investigative activities involving behavioral health.

Read the full article here.