June 15, 2017
Governor Doug Ducey State Attorney General Mr. Mark Brnovich
Maricopa County Attorney Yavapai County AttorneyMr. Bill Montgomery Ms. Sheila Polk
Arizona Senate President Speaker of the HouseSenator Steven Yarbrough Representative JD Mesnard
Dear Governor Ducey; Mr. Brnovich; Mr. Montgomery; Ms. Sheila Polk; Senator Yarbrough; Representative Mesnard;
We are writing as advocates for people who have substance use disorder and who are being taken advantage of through unethical practices on the part of treatment centers in Arizona. This legislative session Representative Noel Campbell introduced HB 2333, which would have effectively ended patient brokering. Many of you were in support of this measure and we are thankful! Unfortunately, HB 2333 was not heard past the second reading in the House of Representatives and therefore patient brokering is still legal in Arizona.
Recently the State of Massachusetts issued a Consumer Warning in which they warned their residents that there were Arizona treatment centers that were scams. http://www.mass.gov/ago/bureaus/hcfc/the-health-care-division/consumer-advisory-scams-addiction-treatment-.htmlThe State of Florida passed a law banning patient brokering last year and now that they are starting to arrest providers, those providers are moving to Arizona to open facilities here and continue their unethical practices.
As a state, we need to stop these practices. Not only is it unsafe for the patients, these facilities are bringing out of state patients to Arizona and when their insurance ends, kicking them out regardless if they finish a program or not, which is creating a burden on our social services. Arizona has also garnered the reputation that the facilities here cannot be trusted which is making it more difficult for the ethical treatment centers to survive and less people are being helped.
We are currently facing an addiction pandemic and we cannot as a State afford to lose good quality treatment centers. Please consider joining Addiction Haven and other providers and families affected in a round table discussion on how to effectively address this practice before any more people are affected.