Futures Recovery Healthcare

New Law in Florida Regulates Addiction Treatment Industry


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In the current industry climate, it is challenging to vet addiction treatment providers for clients. With local and national facilities being sold, acquired or shut down weekly, it’s easy to become disoriented or disillusioned when making referrals to various programs. We’ve put together this quick guide with some key updates made in 2017 and 2018.

Florida Legislative & Accreditation Changes

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) has created a new Code of Ethics, and criteria for selecting an addiction treatment provider. NAATP identifies the need to label addiction treatment as ‘health care’ and outlines certain indices to look for when vetting a service provider.

In addition, a new criminal statute in Florida, Chapter 2017-173, has enacted new legislation that protects people in need of addiction treatment from bad actors within the space and nefarious treatment practices.

Key Elements of Chapter 2017-173

Licensing & Accreditation: Along with higher licensing fees, there are now new requirements necessary for certain licensure renewals. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) now plays a more active role in licensure, and in specifying standards of care, procedures and staff requirements, and can make announced and unannounced inspections of any facility.

Background Screenings: Owners, directors, chief financial Officers, and clinical supervisors are all required to have background screenings done in order to obtain licensing.

Referrals & Patient Brokering: It unlawful to offer to pay, or solicit or receive, benefits for clients, and licensed service providers may not make a referral of a prospective, current, or discharged client to, or accept a referral of such a patient from, a recovery residence unless the recovery residence holds a valid certificate of compliance and is actively managed by a certified recovery residence administrator. In addition, service providers are required to maintain referral records. The new legislation specifically prohibits any health care provider or health care facility from giving or receiving any form of payment in exchange for referrals.

Marketing: Service Providers are not permitted to offer any enticements to bring a client to the facility. Further, service providers are prohibited from making false or misleading statements, or providing false or misleading information about their products, goods, services, or geographical locations in its marketing, advertising materials, or on its website. This includes websites that do not explicitly name the facility for which calls are being routed to or selling calls from call centers without disclosing this information clearly to the prospective client.

What This Means for Consumers

The changes outlined in Chapter 2017-173 were put in place to protect those suffering from addiction, and to provide them with a clear path to treatment, much like any other medical condition.

But like any other medical need, there are certain things to look for when looking for the right provider. When seeking treatment, clients should only consider facilities that:

  • Ask for a full medical assessment before entering treatment
  • Have a dedicated Medical Director on staff
  • Offer a tour prior to committing to care
  • Provide information regarding their staff accreditations, location, their assessment, treatment plan, clinical services, financing and billing practices.
  • Have licensed staff available 24/7
  • Offer a Family program and aftercare planning

At Futures, we are committed to upholding these new regulations, ensuring both the safety and health of our clients, as well as providing transparency and peace of mind for our referring professionals.

To read the bill, please visit click here. If you are looking for treatment for you or someone else, call Futures today for a free consultation.


Call us now to schedule an in person or online consultation.

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(866) 351-7588
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