Everyone who knows me knows how transparent I am. Not only do I write original content and share my own personal story through writing and on video, but I am very transparent in how we recommend only the best addiction treatment centers and drug rehab facilities. But given how popular we’ve become, people are talking. Others who “help” people get into addiction treatment have taken notice. The more ethical people, the ones who bend over backwards to help people get treatment love us and what we do. But there are a few others who are concerned and they don’t like us. And they can’t say anything about it because what we are doing is 100% in the best interest of the patient. These certain individuals and organizations that I am referring to, not so much.
Drug Addicts Aren’t The Only Predators Out There
Drug dealers do capitalize and make a ton of money from an addict’s pain and suffering. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Many so called “recovery advocates” and “philanthropists”, those who claim to do everything for free and only out of the goodness of their hearts are actually making a LOT of money each time they “help” a drug addict get into addiction treatment.
Undisclosed Treatment Centers and Secret Money Exchanges
Now, I’m the first person to tell people that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making money for doing solid, ethical work. People who work hard and do it ethically deserve to get paid for a living. And frankly, they’re the ones who deserve to get paid a lot. But a LOT of people who claim to be helping suffering addicts for free are making several thousand dollars (minimum) per head (referral) to addiction treatment centers they secretly work for. That’s right…it’s a SECRET. Nobody is supposed to know. And barely anybody asks.
It amazes me how many people dance around the question I ask “How are you funded”? The less than ethical folk I’ve spoken to beat around the bush and say something like “Helping people is more important to me than making money”. Ok buddy, that sounds great, but you didn’t answer my question. “HOW ARE YOU FUNDED?”. Some have admitted to me in confidence that they get paid for every patient they refer to certain treatment centers. When I ask which treatment centers, you would have thought I just asked a woman how much they weigh or how their sex life is. In other words, asking them “who they work for” and “how they get paid” or “who they get paid by” is taboo! Why? Because what they are doing is illegal and unethical.
If I Call it a “Bonus”, “Commission” or “Referral Fee” Then I’m Legit…Right?
Getting paid thousands of dollars per referral from an addiction treatment center and drug rehab facility is called a “kickback”, which is illegal in many states. Some people call this a “bonus””, a “referral fee” or a “commission”. But it doesn’t matter how you try to disguise it, it’s still illegal. Not only that, but it drives up costs for patients. In reality, insurance usually pays for addiction treatment (at least for private drug rehab facilities that pay out “commissions” to their headhunters).
So this is how it works. Headhunters or a referral organization will pretend to be a recovery advocate, claiming to work for free. Once they sell you (and their soul), the soon to be recovering addict’s private insurance company will pay the drug rehab treatment center. Once they get paid (and not a minute sooner), the drug rehab facility will pay a hefty kickback to the individual or organization. This can range anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars depending on the policy.
Some of you may be wondering why this is illegal and unethical. After all, a lot of people make commission and bonuses for hard work based on results. So why aren’t all bonuses or commissions someone gets for going the extra mile and/or for results called a “kickback” and why isn’t it illegal?
Why Are Kickbacks Illegal?
We firmly believe there is nothing wrong with getting paid for a living. Every organization needs funding and money in order to exist and actually provide helpful and much needed services. After all, referral based organizations are often needed to help get people into treatment. That said, there is an ethical way to do it and kickbacks typically aren’t the way to do it.
Kickbacks are unethical and often illegal simply because the question exists as to whether or not the referral company has the best interest of the patient in mind. Non-disclosure of referral fees / kickbacks is part of the problem. Non-disclosure of the drug rehab facilities an individual (headhunter) or organization works with is another. But the biggest problem is that organizations or people working on kickbacks are often financially motivated and may be less inclined to provide all the necessary information that may help the suffering addict make the best decision for them. In other words, it’s all about the money!
Kickbacks and referral fees are essentially a hidden markup on the product or service. This leads to increased cost of treatment, although in most cases, addicts/patients who have insurance aren’t aware because the insurance companies pay for it. Inevitably however, someone has to eat the cost. Treatment centers pass on the extra expense to the insurance companies and insurance companies pass on the extra expense to their customers. At the end of the day, it’s the hard working men and women who have to pay at least some out of pocket expenses for insurance who end up suffering and paying more.
Moreover, because kickbacks aren’t often disclosed, they possess a great potential of violating trust between the referrer and the individual being referred. On some level, by agreeing to pay a referral fee, a treatment center, sober living home or detox center is encouraging the referrer to limit the free exchange of information to the prospective “customer”, which had they not been financially motivated to make a “sale”, might have led them to reveal additional options to the addict that may have much better served their needs and interests.
How Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Recommends Addiction Treatment Centers
Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide is very transparent about how we receive funding. Our community will only recommend and work with addiction treatment centers who meet our high standards. If they have a bad reputation and/or there’s something shady going on at treatment centers, we will NOT work with them. I don’t care how much they are willing to pay. Those who meet our high standards are invited to become a recommended sponsor. Recommended sponsors pay a FLAT, monthly sponsorship fee to use our venues and support our free community. Nobody signs a contract and we do not get paid per head. Everything we are doing is 100% legal and ethical.
A few critics will criticize us for taking any money at all, trying to vilify us for “being all about money”. But that’s ridiculous. Not only are sponsorship fees minimal compared to what headhunters and other referral companies making per head, but we help EVERYBODY that reaches out to us, whether or not they have money or insurance and/or are eligible to get into a treatment center we recommend. In other words, we don’t turn anyone away. Oh, and most of our critics are the “secret” headhunters, the fake philanthropists that say they are working for free but are really getting paid thousands of dollars every time they send one person to a “undisclosed” treatment center. And they will only help people who have private insurance.
Putting an End to Unethical and Illegal Behavior
So yes, some so called recovery advocates are making a LOT of money off of an addict’s pain and suffering and their juicy kickback that awaits them typically becomes a barrier to doing what’s in the drug addict’s best interest. Let’s work together to put an end to this unethical and illegal activity.
Written and Published,
William – Founder and Publisher for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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