Pay Per Fail: The Florida Shuffle


The Florida Shuffle is not just Florida

Reader Discretion: This is just a small example of some facilities in the industry, an idea of what to look out for. There are many quality programs that act with integrity.

Florida Shuffle part 1: Jack goes to rehab for the first time. He goes to place we shall call yzone rehab. He stays for 30 days and then attends a sober living that yzone refers most of their clients to, well call the sober living x house. X House sends all of their referrals to y zone and they cycle into each other. X house may get new clients that relapse, and they are obligated to send those clients to Yzone, and anyone YZone sends to Xhouse is guaranteed to be referred back if there is a relapse. Jack has been put into a dangerous cycle that is very common in the Rehab Industry. He could go through that program as many as 30 times, and insurance providers won’t limit it.

Florida Shuffle Part 2: X house may realize that Yzone rehab is not helping Jack, but they will keep sending him because they’re fearful of loosing their referral connection. These types of connections or cycles are very common in the industry, and usually not looked down upon (unfortunately!). Partnerships of this nature are clearly unethical, but truthfully that is just the tip of the ice berg. The real issue is why treatment centers get paid more money if their clients fail!

If I purchase a product and it doesn’t work the first time I will give it a second chance maybe even a third but a fourth? Why are insurance companies rewarding centers for their clients failure? When Wherehab vets facilities we look to see what type of good business practices they have, do you have protocol on how many times someone can reenter your program? When we go to find a treatment center it seems like we should be able to know if 10 or 50 percent of the clients completing treatment stay sober a year after completing the program. Insurance providers track outcomes on programs but the information is private and doesn’t base it on whether or not the client is staying sober; its based on whether or not they attend treatment again. I could be homeless for the rest of my life getting high, but because you didn’t have to spend more money on my rehab you call that success? Well, I call that insanity.

Outcome data is one of the most essential components of where you send a loved one to treatment, and also one of the hardest factors to access. Some centers self-report their data, but it can be skewed and misleading, which is why we have to build a mobile application to provide fact on where is best to send a loved one to treatment. Insurance providers need to be held accountable for this endless cycle of repeat treatment offenders. Keep your eyes open game changers are coming.

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Hanna Marks

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