This video emphasizes the conundrum of treatment centers that act as non-profit organizations. Whether it be a treatment center, or any kind of business acting as a “non-profit”, that doesn’t mean surplus funds aren’t used for bonuses, kickbacks, and paying the heads of the organization exorbitant salaries.
The following list is composed of high-earning individuals who can attribute their hefty salaries to treatment centers located in the U.S. (as featured in this video segment series):
- John Schwarzlose earns $558,945 annually as President & CEO (Betty Ford Center)
- Marvin Seppala, M.D. earns $610,691 annually as Chief Medical Officer (Hazelden Foundation)
- Valerie Slaymaker, Ph.D earns $293,468 annually as Chief Academic Officer (Hazelden Foundation)
- Janina Kean earns $432,30 annually as President & CEO (High Watch Recovery Center)
- Mark Mishek earns $842,991 annually as President & CEO (Hazelden Foundation)
- Brian Boon earns $891,984 annually as President & CEO (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities aka CARF)
- Mark R. Chassin earns $991,914 annually as President & CEO (The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)
When an industry makes money off people in crisis, it’s no surprise that the recovery business is flooded with kickbacks and exchanging referral fees. Dr. Finkelstein was alarmed when he received checks in the mail from an unnamed treatment center with “YOUR NAME” printed on them. Included also was a letting disclosing they offer a 10% commission if he sends patients to their facility. His surprise was coupled with questioned the legality of the whole matter as it proves a conflict of interest.
In 1989 and 1993, legislation referred to as “Stark Law” was added to U.S. Federal Law prohibiting referral by a physician who accepts Medicare or Medicaid to another designated health service provider if that physician (or family member) has a financial relationship with that entity. As it turns out, because most treatment centers do not received Federal funding, sending enticements such as the checks Dr. Finkelstein received is a completely legal business practice.
The recovery business is a relationship driven industry wherein referrals are bought and paid for every day. This is greatly divergent to the medical industry which operates under a different code of ethics. Health Scientist Ruben Baler agrees there is a big conflict of interest in the way treatment centers report their success rates while they are grossing so much money. They fail to follow up and report on the possible negative outcomes of their past residents.
Meanwhile, vulnerable parents everywhere continue to spend their life savings on treatment for their children in hopes it will neb their addiction. As treatment centers, outpatient facilities, and sober-living housing continue to expand, addiction is still going rampant. If the recovery industry lacks self-policing practices in pursuit of financial gain, there’s a major belief from those with a different caliber of ethics for the government to police it.