Law and Disorder –
July 6, 2018 – Senator Marco Rubio posted on Twitter how he hopes a bill he’s sponsoring will put an end to fraud in the residential drug treatment industry. He and Senator Bill Nelson are jointly sponsoring the “Sober Home Fraud Detection Act”, allowing the federal government to regulate residential drug treatment for the first time. The ABC Action News I-Team has spent months looking into how the serious problem is affecting Florida, from more crimes in neighborhoods to rising health insurance rates. The problem of insurance fraud and patient abuse is so bad in the Sunshine State that it’s been nicknamed “the Florida Shuffle”, where patients are lured here for treatment, then going from one treatment center to another until their insurance benefits run out.
Experts say this is creating a perpetual rehab industry. “I’ve never been in one of those situations before. I’d never been to a half-way house,” said Machaon Stevens. He traveled from his home in Maine to a sober home in South St. Petersburg, hoping to get his life back on track. But once there, he says he lived in a bedbug-infested house with little support and no rules. “We were drinking. If I wasn’t, somebody was. There was alcohol in the bedrooms,” he said. Stevens finally left, when he realized his experience in a sober home was worse than what led him to seek help.