Patient Brokers Exploit Vulnerable Recovery-Seekers, Warns Novus Medical Detox Center

Bryn Wesch, CFO of Novus Medical Detox Center, discusses patient brokering and the need for regulations against it.

Patient brokering is illegal, and for good reason—there is little incentive for brokers to help individuals overcome substance use disorders when relapses mean more profits.

A special report published by STAT last month documented the overdose deaths of two young men from Massachusetts after alleged patient broker Danny Cleggett arranged for them receive treatment in Florida.(1) In other May news, the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force made multiple arrests under Florida’s patient brokering statute,(2) and a judge sentenced two sober-home operators to prison for fraud.(3) Novus Medical Detox Center, a leading Florida-based drug treatment facility, entreats state and local authorities to aggressively pursue and prosecute patient brokers and those who hire them, warning that many more lives are at risk while the practice continues.

The STAT article noted that many “addict brokers” receive fees ranging between $500 to $5,000 per head for enrolling patients in their clients’ treatment facilities, while others can earn tens of thousands of dollars for meeting monthly quotas.(1) Brokers who solicit patients for out-of-state treatment centers have begun to face greater scrutiny; for example, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey spoke out against those who “take advantage of the desperation of people struggling with addiction” just to get a commission, treating patients as mere “paychecks”.(1)

Patient brokering is illegal, and for good reason—there is little incentive for brokers to help individuals overcome substance use disorders when relapses mean more profits,” said…

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