CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s Senate bill has been voted out of the U.S. Commerce Committee and is headed to the full Senate for a vote. The bill would crack down on addiction treatment fraud across the country.
This comes just days after 13 News told you about a billing issue going on at suboxone clinics. Some clinics are billing patients for services already covered by Medicaid. In response, Senator Capito introduced the Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018.
“I mean nothing could be sadder to me that when you decide you’re going into treatment and then you end up in a fraudulent situation, it will hold these treatment programs and recovery programs accountable,” Senator Capito said in a Commerce Committee meeting Tuesday.
The federal government is funneling billions of dollars into treatment and fighting drug abuse. So Senator Capito wants to makes ure that money is going into the right hands.
“But one of the things I’ve been very concerned about because we are putting $6-billion of federal dollars into this, I’m worried about the quality and quality control of the programs,” Senator Capito told 13 News.
Recovery is a key part to fighting the opioid epidemic, but an addict can’t get clean if they are being exploited by a facility.
“Last summer it came to my attention that West Virginias suffering from addiction, who were desperate to get help, which we now know were fraudulent rehab centers that only worsened their addiction,” Capito added.
Her bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General to take action against these centers.
“We’ve seen stories where there’s been over billing or where there’s been subpar treatment. These are people who are at their most vulnerable, who deserve to have the best treatment. They shouldn’t be taken advantage of, they should be getting good treatment,” Senator Capito told 13 News.