National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers to Produce Industry Operations Guidelines in Response to System Abuses

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The Guidebook will articulate addiction business practice do’s and do not’s and include an implementation toolkit.

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP a/k/a The National Association) announced a new initiative today to address problematic business practices in the addiction treatment field. Illegal, unethical, and unprofessional practices have reached an all-time high, fueled in part by the opioid addiction crisis, creating a need for industry practice standards. While bad practices are committed by a minority of treatment providers, they cause serious public harm and damage the reputation of ethical high quality treatment operators. The Guidebook will identify business practices that are inappropriate and also define that which is best practice. The Guidebook will include instructional “how to” tools for provider implementation of best practices.

The initiative, called the NAATP Quality Control Initiative (QC) will: 1) Promote Best Business Practice, 2) Deter Problematic Business Practice, 3) Inform Law and Policy Makers, and 4) Educate and Protect the Consumer. The National Association has identified the following specific practices as most concerning: 1) Patient Brokering, 2) Predatory Web Practices, 3) Insurance/Billing Abuses, 4) Payment Kickbacks, and 5) Licensing & Accreditation Misrepresentation. The Guidebook will define and prohibit these practices while presenting clear standards for ethical business operations.

The QC was adopted at a July 2017 special meeting of NAATP leadership following approval of the goals by the NAATP Board of Directors, who represent the nation’s top addiction treatment programs. Once in place, NAATP treatment provider members will be required to adhere to the guidelines, thereby creating a “high floor” practice standard.

NAATP Director Marvin Ventrell said: “This is no small matter or undertaking. While the best providers operate by values and guidelines, the field as a whole lacks the necessary operational practice standards that are the hallmark of professional service industries. As our field has evolved, and more recently been infiltrated by unscrupulous profiteers, it is necessary for values based and evidence based providers to come together, reach consensus on practice standards, and separate the good from the bad.”

NAATP Board President, Art VanDivier, Executive Director of La Hacienda Treatment Center said: “This initiative will result in shining a bright light on both the good and bad provider. Ultimately, the industry will thrive and the beneficiary will be the consumer of our lifesaving health care service.”

QC Committee Chair, Carl Kester, CEO of Lakeside-Milam Treatment Centers said: “This initiative is entirely in line with The National Association's Mission and is connected to NAATP’s commitment to quality improvement, including the NAATP Outcomes Program that will provide reliable treatment outcomes measures for the field and the consumer. The end-game is to produce the best treatment possible and to promote quality and trust, all of which is consistent with ethical and honest business practice.”

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Marvin Ventrell
since: 05/2010
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