New set of principles holds treatment providers accountable for ethical practices and outcomes
Wernersville, PA (February 7, 2018) – As Americans continue to struggle with the growing addiction crisis, some unethical treatment centers are taking advantage of individuals and families in crisis. To combat this issue, Caron Treatment Centers, a leading not-for-profit provider of addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment with 60 years in the field, introduces the Patient’s Bill of Rights for Addiction Treatment, an initiative intended to guide addiction treatment providers and legislators throughout the country on the needs of patients and families and the importance of providing patient-centric, quality care for long-term recovery. The Patient’s Bill of Rights also defines the basic requirements for quality treatment for individuals and families seeking help for addiction.
Addiction is a disease known as substance use disorder that affects one in three families in the United States. It is estimated that the final 2017 death toll for addiction will exceed more than 64,000 drug overdoses plus approximately 88,000 alcohol use-related deaths. This growing addiction epidemic has touched off a “gold rush” for treatment providers looking to profit from those seeking treatment with more than $36 billion spent on substance use disorder treatment in 2017 alone. However, not all providers use ethical business practices for marketing and billing, nor can they deliver quality treatment to individuals and families. Because regulations vary from state to state and, until recently, there were not many sector-wide standards, patients and families have been left without real guideposts to find help.
“Families in crisis are often overwhelmed by what lies ahead of them,” said Doug Tieman, President and CEO of Caron Treatment Centers. “With any other life-threatening chronic disease, patients can talk to their doctors, get appropriate referrals, get second opinions. Because of the shame and stigma associated with addiction, as well as an overall lack of awareness by the healthcare community about the disease, patients seeking help for addiction are left to find help on their own. This void creates a climate where predatory practices are allowed to flourish and can compromise not only an individual’s recovery, but also his or her life. Our goal in creating the Patient’s Bill of Rights is to champion that people with addiction have a right to effective, ethical care focused on their needs as an individual.”
During his recent Congressional testimony about fraudulent practices and poor care harming patients and worsening the addiction crisis, Tieman stated, “There is no single type of treatment for substance abuse that is appropriate for everyone. Additionally, the lack of standards for addiction treatment makes it difficult for patients and families to know what quality treatment looks like and how to find it.”
The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) recently introduced a new Code of Ethics, which allows for the termination of membership for providers that violate the organization’s guidelines. Caron Treatment Centers has been working closely with NAATP and other providers to improve the quality of treatment across the sector. The introduction of the Patient’s Bill of Rights addresses ethics and quality care from the patient’s perspective.
Core to the development of the Patient’s Bill of Rights is an understanding that addiction is a chronic disease, not a moral failing. While addiction cannot be cured, it is treatable with careful long-term disease management. Patients therefore have a right to the same honesty, respect and dignity of any other patient facing a life-threatening, chronic disease.
“Research and more than 60 years of experience have taught us what works in treating addiction,” continued Tieman. “Personalized treatment plans delivered by highly-credentialed teams, along with a monitored after-care program have led to a 76% abstinence rate for Caron alumni one-year following treatment. Yet so much of what passes for treatment by some other providers ignores this evidence or, worse, uses fraudulent practices that maximize insurance reimbursement at the expense of what is best for the patient.“
Caron Treatment Centers calls on providers across the addiction treatment sector to adopt the Patient’s Bill of Rights and establish rigorous standards. Treatment providers have a responsibility to fulfill their promises, and patients have a right to know what to expect.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights in Addiction Treatment
The Patient’s Bill of Rights establishes a benchmark for physicians, payers, policymakers, patients and their families alike as they seek to provide, pay for, regulate, and receive the highest quality care.
Patients have the right to:
- Be treated for the life-threatening, chronic disease of addiction with honesty, respect and dignity.
- Know what to expect from treatment, and the likelihood of success.
- Be treated by licensed and certified professionals.
- Evidence-based treatment.
- Be treated for co-occurring behavioral health conditions simultaneously.
- An individualized, outcomes-driven treatment plan.
- Remain in treatment as long as necessary.
- Support, education and treatment for their families and loved ones.
- A treatment setting that is safe and ethical.
“We believe that, along with membership in NAATP and proper state licensure, a treatment provider who adopts the Patient’s Bill of Rights can be trusted by patients and families,” said Tieman. “As a not-for-profit, our primary concern is to help individuals and families in crisis make the right choices for lifesaving treatment, whether it be at Caron or at one of the many other ethical and quality treatment providers.”
About Caron Treatment Centers
With 60 years in the field, Caron Treatment Centers operates lifesaving addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment. Caron is headquartered in Wernersville, Pennsylvania with Ocean Drive and Caron Renaissance located in Palm Beach County, Florida. Caron has Recovery Centers in New England, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., which offer community and recovery support. Caron’s Recovery Centers in Atlanta and New York City also offer pre- and post-treatment services. Caron has the most extensive continuum of care including adolescents, young adults, mid-life adults, older adults, chronic pain, executives, healthcare professionals and legal professionals. Caron’s treatment is customized to meet the needs of individuals and families – with highly trained teams prepared to address co-occurring disorders. Caron offers an innovative approach to ongoing recovery care support for its former patients and their families with online peer groups and other resources during the first year of transition following discharge. For more information on Caron, please visit Caron at www.caron.org or follow us on Twitter @CaronTreatment.
Caron Treatment Centers