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California Society of Addiction Medicine Applauds Rehab Fraud Crackdown, Warns of Risks to Patients
Date:8/9/2013

SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) August 09, 2013

The California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) supports the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) investigation into alleged fraud in the Drug Medi-Cal program, but urges that funding cut-offs to treatment centers must not be allowed to jeopardize the health and safety of addiction treatment patients.

The Executive Council of CSAM, California’s professional society of physicians who specialize in treating the disease of addiction, issued a statement saying: “Every dollar intended for treatment that is stolen or wasted hurts those individuals desperately in need of treatment. However, it is critical that the Department of Health Care Services ensures that there is no interruption of treatment for legitimate patients with the disease of addiction.”

The California Department of Health Care Services, which recently took over regulation of Drug Medi-Cal funding from the now defunct Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, has cut off funding for 29 firms operating 83 clinics following a media investigation alleging fraud, according to California Healthline in an Aug. 2 report. CSAM applauds these efforts to insure that limited addiction treatment Medi-Cal funding is used effectively.

At the same time, “patients with the disease of addiction at these facilities are trapped in the middle. We request that DHCS arrange for these individuals to be transferred as quickly as possible to DHCS-approved programs,” said Jeffery Wilkins, MD, CSAM President and the Lincy/Heyward-Moynihan Chair in Addiction Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

CSAM has long urged that addiction treatment centers should be regulated like other healthcare facilities that treat acute and chron
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