A couple of recent news stories have undoubtedly caused some squirming among many a treatment center executive. They revolved around some questionable business practices involving drug testing procedures and treatment centers, the labs associated with them and insurance companies.
First, there was an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding potential profit inflation due to drug testing revenue into a certain publicly-traded group of treatment centers. Then there was an FBI investigation into multiple facilities connected to labs in South Florida.
The practices in question involved performing an unusually high number of drug tests on individuals who have insurance policies, sending them to labs that charge a ridiculously high fee for them and then getting huge payouts and kickbacks from the drug testing claims. Many clients were billed well over $100,000 in lab fees alone.
While examples like these are more obvious when examined after the fact, there are undoubtedly many treatment programs around the country that have engaged in similar practices, even if only a little bit. People in the news stories appear to be motivated by profits, not by helping people recover. For some struggling facilities elsewhere, that distinction may be a bit more blurred.
The fact is there are industry-accepted standards for drug testing, and there are usual and customary charges for lab services for those procedures. Attempts to manipulate that for any reason turns into dishonest business practices and is not in the best interest of the clients.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with being a profitable business, but how someone goes about it makes a huge difference. If you provide an excellent treatment program, help the majority of your clients into successful recovery and market your services well, you will make money. Cheating the system is not a sustainable business model.
If you operate a treatment facility and need help marketing it, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we might be able to help you so that you can help more people.