Building Trust- Ethics in Addiction Treatment
- Clinical relationships with current and/or prior caregivers are respected and protected
- Twin Town COORDINATES care with community professionals rather than setting up competitive or fragmented systems of care. Twin Town works with current/prior treatment professionals (therapists, counselors, psychiatrists and physicians) to ensure a coordinated, continuum of care.
- Twin Town provides only cost-effective treatment which is quality monitored.
- Before admission, we provide full financial and service disclosure, and we secure voluntary informed consent.
- Our staff seeks to protect the dignity and confidentiality of each client and their family members.
- Documentation and billings accurately reflect the clinical condition and outpatient services rendered.
How many times have we heard about a family being misled about the costs of treatment after the provider of treatment posted that they accept insurance? What the provider actually accepted is out-of-network insurance payment, where accountability for added costs and patient charges can be avoided. How many families receive bad news twice when their loved one checks out of treatment early, and the provider will not refund the unused portion of what was paid toward that treatment?
Quid pro quo kickback schemes paying for patient referrals and/or fee-splitting between providers to enhance referral and revenue volume are obvious breaches of ethical conduct. Call centers, internet brokering sites, and toxicology lab revenue sharing scams have become pervasive in a profession and business which is ultimately built upon trust. All addiction treatment providers are painted with the same cynical brush when a few value money over integrity.
Doing the right thing is not easy but it is what sobriety, recovery AND TREATMENT should be all about.
Rather than contracting with a cost-effective laboratory to provide medically necessary urinalysis testing, some providers and labs are charging upwards of $1000 for a $5 lab or confirmation on a daily basis. The bill is then sent to the medical benefit to conceal it from utilization review. These revenue enhancements create a need for greater oversight or more aversive market consequences.
Treatment and recovery should represent the best of what we have to give, not the dark motives of selfishness and greed.
Twin Town Treatment Centers posts on its website ethical standards to which we hold ourselves accountable. We encourage others to do the same. Rather than racing to the bottom, we’ll set ethical standards from which the public and purchasers of healthcare can distinguish.
Standards Twin Town sets for itself include:
- Refusing to accept/ pay referral fees or contract with referral mills (internet websites) to increase rates of patient enrollment. The patient and family geographic location, and the clinical needs expressed by the patient and their family are always considered when forming disposition/ referral plans.
- Refusing to mislead patients and their families with statements such as, “We’ll take your insurance and we will accept payment arrangements for the unpaid balance”. In situations where the patient and their family are misled at enrollment, they are later shocked by bills which may exceed tens of thousands of dollars. The reality all along was that the insurance would have only paid for only a few days of residential or out-of-network treatment.
- Refusing to contract with the patient or family for a “flat case-rate” for the entire course of treatment. Under flat case rate agreements refunds are frequently refused and the unused funds are pocketed.
Set ethical and quality standards which exceed the norm:
- Provide only cost-effective treatment which is quality monitored.
- Before admission, provide full financial and service disclosure, and secure voluntary informed consent. Avoid surprises.
- Seek to protect the dignity and confidentiality of each client patient and their family members.
- Respect and protect clinical relationships with current and/or prior caregivers. Avoid transferring clients from care of therapists, counselors, psychiatrists and/or physicians. COORDINATE care with community professionals rather than setting up competitive or fragmented systems of care.