Sober Homes Defrauding Insurance Companies
Federal agents converged on a sober home and treatment center in Delray Beach earlier this month to carry out multiple raids. The agents were at Real Life Recovery, a treatment center located at 268 SE 6th Avenue in addition to Halfway There, a halfway house located at 1100 SW 4th Avenue. Agents from several agencies, including the FBI, came in around 9:00 a.m. and took boxes of documents in addition to seizing computers. Authorities have yet to disclose why they visited the facilities, but both are owned by Eric Snyder.
In September, FBI and state fraud police raided the Good Decisions Sober Living facility on Georgia Avenue as part of an ongoing insurance fraud investigation. This facility is a condominium complex where recovering including alcoholics and drug addicts rent to live, get occasionally drug tested, and complete outpatient care.
At the Good Decisions facility, agents rounded up all of the employees and seized their phones, laptops, tablets, and boxes of documents from the facility. The Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR), a watchdog organization for sober homes in the state, also assisted in the investigation. A spokesperson from FARR said that the Good Decisions facility was defrauding the insurance system by taking kickbacks and overcharging insurance companies for poor quality services and care.
Sober Homes and Intensive Outpatient Programs
Otherwise known as IOPs, many sober homes around the state are developing their own intensive outpatient programs in order to secure insurance money or defraud the companies. According to one of the advisory board members of FARR, “unlawful practices have sprung up like weeds as more IOP licenses are issued in Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Broward counties” in order to chase insurance dollars.
By definition, recovery residences cannot access insurance because they do not offer any clinical services. However, the development of IOPs has provided a loophole for some sober homes to bill insurance for the services that they provide. In October, after the raid on the Good Decisions facility, members of FARR and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) met with the office of the state Attorney General to discuss the unethical practices that are burgeoning within the sober home industry. Most notably there has been an increase in the amount of patient brokering, kickbacks, and insurance fraud.
Because of the drastic cuts in the state budget, the Department of Child and Family Services has drastically cut the number of employees that license and inspect sober homes. “So now all these recovery residences want to be treatment providers so they can submit claims to insurance, and their applications are getting rubber-stamped,” says a spokesperson from FARR. “You have people who never would have been approved two years ago getting a license to operate an IOP, which is to them a license to be reimbursed for drug tests that they used to do for $6 and now get reimbursed $1,500.”
Call a West Palm Beach Substance Abuse Attorney Today
If you or someone that you know has been injured while residing in a sober home because of subpar quality care, let the experienced West Palm Beach substance abuse attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential review of your case.