Tag Archives: behavioral health

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:

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.