Renaissance Ranch

Watch for These 3 Red Flags When Choosing an Addiction Recovery Center

Jun 11, 2024

As the U.S. continues to face an opioid crisis, the number of drug and alcohol rehab centers has skyrocketed across the country. This is fantastic news as our society works to eradicate the stigma associated with substance abuse disorder and focuses on offering helpful resources for those struggling with addiction.

Unfortunately, not all treatment centers are created equal. Not even all Christian treatment centers are legit. As the number of rehabilitation centers increases, so do the horror stories about individuals and their families getting scammed.

Red Flags When Choosing an Addiction Recovery Center

(Jan van der Wolf/pexels)

If you have decided to get help, we are so proud of you. Getting help as soon as possible is crucial, as every day with a severe addiction can be detrimental. However, taking the time to find the right treatment center is an essential step in the overall addiction recovery process. The facility you choose will set the foundation for your recovery. It may be the difference between reaching your goals or not.

Fraudulent centers are in the business of taking advantage of those who are struggling. They frequently overcharge and underdeliver. They may even abuse their residents, leaving them with more trauma than when they came in.

Here are 3 Signs of a Rehab Scam

1. Patient Brokering

Patient brokering, or “body brokering,” is when a third party makes a commission off of recruiting new patients to a rehab center. This is similar to an MLM commission model, with the patient being the product sold. This practice became illegal in 2018, but many facilities still do it.

Patient brokering usually begins with a phone call from the recruiter. They often recommend a disreputable, out-of-state rehab facility when on the line with you. This should be a huge red flag. Or they may persuade you to sign up for a rehab program immediately. Pressuring you into making an immediate decision is another red flag. They’ll say and do anything to get you to enroll. They’ll offer to cover the cost of travel or provide other incentives.

Some recruiters are sneaky and target you with ads to make you decide to call. Many online ads list their “treatment center” numbers, but the call goes to a call center. When you call in, the agent connects you to the highest bidder. From there, they’ll do whatever they can to pressure you into a program, not caring about your specific needs or budget.

The problem with patient brokering is that many people don’t recognize when it’s happening to them. Do your research, read online reviews, and walk away if something doesn’t feel right.

2. Insurance Fraud

Many unethical treatment centers will try to commit insurance fraud while you’re undergoing treatment. This one is hard to sort out once it has happened. They often inflate the bill to your insurance company or add unnecessary treatments to your plan. Some order tests and medications you don’t need. If your insurance refuses to pay, you’re in trouble. This may lead to “curbing,” which means getting kicked out of rehab.

Consider it a red flag if your rehab center enrolls you in a new insurance policy. This is their M.O. for committing insurance fraud. The plan is often a good deal; they may even offer free treatment. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

These fraudulent treatment centers usually choose plans with larger reimbursements to make more money. They may lie about your address to make it look like you live in a different state. They are sneaky and dishonest and will say what you want to hear.

When the insurance company catches wind of what is happening, who is liable? You guessed it, you!

3. Vague or Incorrect Information

One sure sign of a fraudulent rehab center is that they make inaccurate claims. These claims might be in the form of testimonials, interviews, or descriptions on a website. Rehab centers often offer people incentives in exchange for positive reviews via Facebook, their website, Yelp, or YouTube.

Many people have come forward stating that centers bribed them to write a testimonial before their treatment even started. When the patient actually went through treatment, they found that the treatment didn’t work for them, but it was too late to retract the review.

Shady rehab clinics often lie about the following:

• Accreditation

You would never allow yourself or a loved one to sign up for a rehab center that is not accredited, and these non-accredited centers know that. So, they lie.

• Credentials of Staff Members

Treatment centers may claim all their staff have the proper medical licenses and qualifications, but you must make sure. If your treatment requires medical attention, ensure your team has M.D.s, nurses, and certified therapists.

• Services and Amenities

Some centers put all their energy into ensuring their website looks superb to recruit patients. However, their website is often far from accurately describing patients’ experiences. Make sure your center provides the resources, amenities, and services that they claim to.

• Conditions Treated

Remember, sketchy rehab centers are in the business of making money and taking advantage of people. They don’t care how they get people through their doors, just as long as they come. They often claim to treat more conditions than they do to reel you in.

Rehab Green Flags

Now that you know three of the giant red flags to avoid, let’s talk about four things you should look for in a treatment center.

1. Individualized Treatment

Addiction recovery is not a one-size-fits-all program. The best treatment facilities will have options that include personalized treatment. A reputable and accredited rehab center will ensure their program works for you.

2. Aftercare Planning

Recovery and sobriety are a life-long journey. A good rehab center genuinely cares about your journey during rehab and after. They will help you plan what comes next and provide resources to help you thrive, including aftercare programs.

3. Options that Fit Your Needs

If your insurance doesn’t offer coverage for inpatient services, outpatient care might be a better option. Trustworthy rehab centers will help you choose the best choice for your situation.

4. Transparency About Recovery Rates

Most addiction recovery programs have a 50-60% success rate. Centers claiming a 100% success rate could be lying or not keeping in touch with past patients.

Knowledge is power, so do your part to avoid rehab scams. Remember that the rehab center you choose sets the tone for your recovery. Contact us today for more information about our faith-based treatment centers in Utah and Idaho.