Legislative Alert: California Addiction Treatment Referral Payments

Sep 20, 2018

The Senate Bill 1268 has moved its way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk. SB 1268, "Addiction treatment referrals: payment: penalties and enforcement," is an act that would amend Section 11834.36 and add Sections 11833.1 and 11833.2 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to public health.

The existing law provides for the licensure and regulation by the State Department of Health Care Services of adult alcoholism and drug abuse recovery and treatment facilities. The department also requires that an individual providing counseling services working within an alcohol and drug abuse recovery and treatment program be registered with or certified by a certifying organization approved by the department to register and certify counselors.

This bill would prohibit certain persons, programs, or entities, including an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment program and persons employed by, or working for, that program, from giving or receiving remuneration or anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment services. A violation of these provisions would be a misdemeanor and would also be punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,500 per violation. The bill also would authorize the department to investigate and take specified disciplinary action against those persons or programs for violating those prohibitions. Because a violation of the above-described provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

For those that operate in California, please contact Governor Jerry Brown and encourage him to sign SB 1268 into law. While the law doesn't go far enough in its scope, it will help prosecutors to better address unscrupulous treatment provider in the state of California and is an excellent step forward for California.

For more information on the current laws governing treatment programs and sober living facilities in California, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for the state.

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