Sober Homes, Insurance Companies, Fraud? In Florida? No way!

Sober Homes, Insurance Companies, Fraud? In Florida? No way!

 

So I got a heads up yesterday that some of these treatment places are offering free rent and plane ticket down here to Florida.

Some how the treatment center pays for the sober home after over  billing the insurance. This has got to be looked into.

Why?

Because of greedy scammers many people who would need for this to paid for will loose it. This will become the headline. Then everyone will loose.

I found this online:

Should sober living houses be covered by insurance? INTERVIEW with Opportunities Halfway House

I can’t comment on this place because I do not know them but they sound nice.

Brittany Ringersen was the person speaking in the interview.

“Some of the principles and qualities a family should look for are structure and supervision. You want to find a house where the residents are required to go to meetings, have a sponsor, obtain employment and do chores. It is also very important that the residents be drug tested at least on a weekly basis to insure the sobriety of everyone living in the house.

The number one sign of a poorly managed halfway house is one where residents are allowed to use drugs and alcohol while living there. You would think that this is a rare occurrence, but it happens much more often than you would think.

Another big warning sign is if the house is co-ed, with men and women living under the same roof. It can be very uncomfortable for a newly sober woman to have a male roommate, especially if she has a history of sexual or physical abuse, which many women in recovery do.”

She said

“I would love to see all sober living and halfway houses registered with some form of a regulation agency either on a county or state level. It requires the facilities to have certain policy and procedures from intakes to discharges. This prevents facilities from practices that are unethical, such as unauthorized billing of insurance to having a “flop house” which allows residents to use mind altering substances without consequences. Having these types of changes will force all of the facilities to uphold a level of ethics which is missing in a lot of sober livings.

Unfortunately, it appears that a lot of insurance companies are getting involved with halfway houses without their approval or knowledge. What has been happening lately is that many Intensive Outpatient programs have been offering free rent as an incentive for clients to come to their program. What they then do is find halfway houses willing to house their clients and be paid directly by the treatment center. The insurance companies are being billed for “case management” services and have no idea that the money is actually going to pay the client’s rent.

 

The definition of a halfway is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halfway_house

A halfway house is a place that allows people with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities to learn the social and other skills necessary to integrate or re-integrate into society.

The environment features varying degrees of privacy, social work, medical, psychiatric, and other similar services as well as residence halls for the patients. Two main types are found in the U.S.

In the first type, upon admission, a patient is classified as to the type of disability, ability to re-integrate into society, and expected time frame for doing so. They may be placed into an open bay same-sex dormitory similar to that found in military basic training with fifty or a hundred similar residents in a gymnasium-type setting all going through the same thing at the same time. As the patient is able to increase his skill level and decrease his dependency on support services, the dorm members become fewer to the point where, at the final stage before being able to get their own apartment, the patient may have only one or two roommates.

The other type is reversed, housing new patients in individual rooms providing one-to-one services and programming, and as they become more independent, the dorms become bigger so that by the time the patient leaves, they are living in the 50-to-100 man dorm described above.

This is not a sober home. All a sober home is is a place where people live and remain sober. Right?

You can go here with this website Sober Living Florida.

Cool if you get an insurance company to pay your rent at a place with meals , free internet, a swimming pool, and a gym membership. It’

There are some good places btw that provide a good service. These good places will be hurt unless we do something about the bad places.

The people who really need these group homes like the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill will be hurt because I fear that everyone will thrown in the same basket.

It’s Pill Mill’s all over again.

Here is a good piece from the Sun Sentinel.

Cary Glickstein:Some sober homes owners scamming public

State and federal lawmakers, Department of Justice and HUD officials, and mental health agencies must act to curb widespread abuses associated with sober homes and the addiction treatment industry that fights any intrusion into its unregulated, unaccountable and hugely profitable turf.

Sober homes — group homes for persons in recovery from drug/alcohol abuse — are intended as a last step in the continuum of substance abuse/addiction treatment. Sadly for many, they are far from the last step.

The good actors, regrettably, appear outnumbered by unscrupulous opportunists and profiteers preying on the misfortunes of vulnerable people seeking wellness in sober homes that operate with impunity from even the most basic regulations — no training, licensing, registration, background checks, inspection or accountability requirements of any kind. Desperate parents (many out of state) are duped by slick websites with palm trees and sunsets offering hope, but producing little.

“Exploiting our well-intentioned FHA and ADA laws drafted to protect those with disabilities and handicaps from housing discrimination, many sober house operators game the system, fighting any attempt to license or regulate what is by any definition a business. This, despite claims of convicted drug dealers and sex offenders operating sober homes, claims of sexual barter/assault (for rent) within sober homes, insurance and Medicaid fraud, patient brokering, unsafe and hostile living conditions (within and around sober homes), and grossly expensive and often unsuccessful therapies.xploiting our well-intentioned FHA and ADA laws drafted to protect those with disabilities and handicaps from housing discrimination, many sober house operators game the system, fighting any attempt to license or regulate what is by any definition a business. This, despite claims of convicted drug dealers and sex offenders operating sober homes, claims of sexual barter/assault (for rent) within sober homes, insurance and Medicaid fraud, patient brokering, unsafe and hostile living conditions (within and around sober homes), and grossly expensive and often unsuccessful therapies.”

Here is a list of the hundreds of drug rehabs in Florida. These are NOT sober homes. They are treatment centers.

http://www.rehabs.com/local/florida/

 

Negron deals deathly blow to sober homes bill

State Sen. Joe Negron likely has killed a sober homes bill pushed by Port St. Lucie to give the state some control over the controversial facilities.

The bill’s last committee hurdle was a stop this week in the Senate Appropriations Committee chaired by Negron, R-Stuart, but he did not take up the bill because sponsor Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, did not want to accept an amendment that would gut most of its language, Clemens said. Committees are not scheduled to meet anymore this session.

Although the House has passed its version of the bill, Clemens said there’s little chance the Senate will hear the legislation to allow the Department of Children and Families to license and inspect sober homes for recovering drug and alcohol addicts and do background screenings on operators.

The amendment would have replaced those regulations with a task force to study the welfare and safety of residents.

Residential neighborhoods in South Florida have become a hub for those facilities, which have started to creep into the Treasure Coast, in particular Port St. Lucie. The city has been involved in litigation with two sober home operators.

Some “sober homes” bill insurance and some do not. I believe and you can correct me if they bill directly they are subject to inspections of billing.

If any  of these places are billing Medicare then they are subject to someone looking at the billing practices.

To think otherwise is utterly ridiculous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Sober, Now What?

Guest Blog: Thank you Darcy Flierl!

I’m Sober, Now What?

by Darcy Flierl

Don’t ask me what to do when you become sober. I’ve yet to successfully give up anything. Rather, I’m a “replacer”.   I gave up nicotine last year, I replaced it with walking and eventually I replaced it with food. Now, I’m struggling with what to replace my poor eating habits with and it’s looking like I’m replacing it with research on how to eat better. I don’t know if I’m actually eating better, but I sure can tell you a lot about it.

An old friend suggested I write about how a recently sober person can manage the first year of sobriety, how to manage the discomfort and emotion that comes up when one gives up their drug of choice. First, let’s review the difference between use, abuse and addiction. We also need to clarify that drug use, abuse or addiction is all about dopamine and that our drug of choice can be prescriptions, weed, alcohol, heroin, sugar, coffee, sex, porn, exercise, even a person or relationship!

“ In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine systems are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of several other important hormones.” (Desai, Vishal. “Role of Copper in Human Neurological disorders”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved 15 Aug 2015.) Basically, whatever your drug of choice is, you are searching to increase your dopamine levels. The danger of some drugs is that when consumed, you are increasing your dopamine levels to unnatural states that are impossible to duplicate without the drug.

dopamine

So, what makes an addiction anyway? Last night I had 2 drinks. I used alcohol. Five years ago, during my divorce, I was consuming a bottle of red wine a night, I was likely abusing alcohol to avoid uncomfortable feelings.   When you “use” your “drug”, you get some personal enjoyment, a nice dose of dopamine, but no one gets hurt because all returns to normal and you are back to living your life and your brain is accepting of that. Abuse is shakier ground. Likely you are seeking out that dopamine to avoid feelings, thoughts or responsibilities. When you abuse a substance, you may be doing it unconsciously, but it truly is a choice, on some level. When we “abuse” our “drug”, we begin to suffer some negative consequences. This IS the crossroads. This is the moment one does or does not cross the threshold into addiction. I’ve never crossed the threshold of addiction with alcohol or anything else I may have dabbled in throughout my life, with the exception of nicotine. Nicotine, taught me ALL about addiction. Nicotine is almost worse than other drugs because although no longer considered “sexy” and even with the grim reaper effect, one doesn’t suffer social consequences like jail, so it makes it much easier to continue the addiction.

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