National Addiction Trade Association to Meet in Denver to Address Addiction Crisis and Industry Conduct

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The National Association Will Tackle the Addiction Treatment Field’s Toughest Issues as it Convenes its Directors and Members at the Annual Meeting this Month

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), the nation’s trade and professional membership society for addiction treatment programs, will hold its 40th Annual Meeting and National Conference at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Denver (Broomfield), CO from May 20-22 amidst a national addiction crisis that currently kills hundreds of Americans each day. The conference will focus on industry-wide Quality Assurance measures that must be implemented to respond to the crisis including the problem of corrupting influences that have arisen as addiction treatment is perceived as a growth industry with large financial profit incentives. During the conference, NAATP will reveal its Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI), designed to confront abuses in the treatment field, establish operational competence, and restore public trust in addiction treatment.

NAATP Executive Director Marvin Ventrell said: “A new and unwelcome breed of unscrupulous profiteers entered the addiction treatment field to the detriment of the consumer while at the same time sullying the good name of legitimate values-based providers. This occurs at a time when addiction is rampant in America and opioid overdose is at an historic high. This disturbing trend interrupts our country’s ability to deliver lifesaving health care to patients suffering from the disease of addiction and represents an ongoing threat to our work. Addiction is treatable; people recover to lead long healthy productive lives when given access to good care. Our association members provide that care, and NAATP is committed to ensuring access to it through consumer protection and quality assurance.”

At the center of the QAI is the new NAATP Code of Ethics, which defines unethical behavior in the marketing and treatment of addiction, including patient brokering, billing abuses, and deceptive advertising practices. The NAATP QAI covers eight addiction treatment core competencies: 1) Operations, 2) Admissions, 3) Training and Credentialing, 4) Billing, 5) Discharge and Continuing Care, 6) Outcomes Measures, 7) Community Engagement and Public Policy, and 8) Marketing, Advertising, and Visibility.    

Conference presentations include John Horton, CEO of LegitScript, who will outline the new Treatment Provider Certification Program that is now a prerequisite for treatment provider advertising on Google. Last fall, at the urging of the treatment leadership, and following a New York Times expose, Google suspended the purchase of AdWords due to system manipulation by unscrupulous treatment marketers. Since then, NAATP has worked with Google to address the matter and reintroduce web advertising that protects the public and allows provider visibility. The LegitScript program is a product of that effort.

The national Outcomes Pilot Program (OPP), which finishes this year, will be presented together with the plan to release an Outcomes Toolkit that will provide a roadmap for needed patient outcome measurement and establish a first ever uniform national standard for such data collection.

Florida State Attorney Dave Aronberg, of the Florida Sober Homes Task Force, will headline a panel on public policy advocacy and reform. The panel and follow-up regional workgroups will address issues like the South Florida addiction treatment corruption scandal, where innocent consumers were duped into phony treatment programs and billing schemes.

Doug Tieman, CEO of Caron Treatment Programs, will present a lecture on the evolution of addiction treatment in the U.S. and discuss how the NAATP QAI will work to secure the treatment field to its honorable tradition.

NAATP, founded in 1978, has led the addiction treatment field through four decades of growth. Its mission is to provide leadership, advocacy, training, and member support services to ensure the availability and highest quality of addiction treatment.

Read the complete session agenda at: https://www.naatp.org/training/national-addiction-leadership-conference.

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Marvin Ventrell
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