Today's Law As Amended


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SB-636 Addiction treatment: advertising: payment.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 650.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

650.5.
 (a) A person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or an agent or employee thereof, shall not make payments for services that recommend any form of medical care or treatment that is provided by an alcohol-related or narcotic-related program, or an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment program, facility, or dispensary.
(b) A person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, shall not use runners, cappers, steerers, or other persons to procure clients, patients, or customers for any form of medical care or treatment provided by an alcohol-related or narcotic-related program, facility, or dispensary.
(c) A referral service for any form of medical care or treatment that is provided by an alcohol-related or narcotic-related program, or an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment program, facility, or dispensary shall have a written contract.
(d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any payments made pursuant to a written contract for a referral service if that contract specifies a fixed amount to be paid by a treatment provider, regardless of the number of patients referred.
(e) A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty as described in Title 23 (commencing with Section 110000) of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Title 23 (commencing with Section 110000) is added to the Government Code, to read:

TITLE 23. California Alcohol and Narcotic Treatment Referral Protection Enforcement

110000.
 (a) A person who violates Section 650.5 of the Business and Professions Code or Section 11833.1 of the Health and Safety Code is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the first violation, and not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each subsequent violation. A subsequent violation is any violation after the first violation.
(b) In addition to all other penalties, a person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or an agent or employee thereof, that knowingly and willfully violates a requirement of this title is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for the first violation, and not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for each subsequent knowing and willful violation. A subsequent knowing and willful violation is any knowing and willful violation after the first knowing and willful violation.
(c) Each violation of a requirement of this title is a separate violation and each day of the violation is a separate violation that is subject to a civil penalty pursuant to this section.
(d) In determining the amount of a civil penalty for multiple separate violations against a person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, which has not previously been subject to a civil penalty pursuant to this section, the court shall consider whether the conduct was done in good faith or in an attempt to substantially comply with the law.
110001.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, this title does not affect any civil remedies otherwise provided by law, nor does this title create any new civil remedies for injuries or damages.
(b) This title does not limit a grant of governmental immunity to a state or local agency and does not impose any liability or duty of care not otherwise imposed by law upon a state or local agency.
(c) In addition to any other penalty under this section, a court may issue a prohibitory injunction against the person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation, or agent or employee thereof, to prevent the continued occurrence of the prohibited conduct.
(d) An action may be brought by the Attorney General or the district attorney in the name of the people of the State of California for the enforcement of the civil penalty pursuant to this section. The Department of Health Care Services may refer complaints or evidence of a violation of this section to the Attorney General or the district attorney of the county in which the alleged offense occurred to take action to assess a civil penalty pursuant to this section. If penalties are collected as a result of a civil suit brought by the Attorney General or a district attorney for the collection of those civil penalties, the penalties imposed shall be paid to the prosecuting agency. If more than one agency is involved in enforcement, the penalties imposed shall be apportioned among them in a manner that will fairly offset the relative costs incurred by the agencies in collecting these fees.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11833.1 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

11833.1.
 The following persons, programs, or entities shall not give or receive remuneration or anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking substance use disorder treatment services:
(a) A substance use disorder treatment program licensed under this part.
(b) An owner, partner, officer, or director, or a shareholder who holds an interest of at least 10 percent in a substance use disorder treatment program licensed under this part.
(c) A person employed by, or working for, a substance use disorder treatment program licensed or certified under this part, including registered and certified counselors and licensed professionals providing counseling services.
(d) A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty as described in Title 23 (commencing with Section 110000) of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 11833.2 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

11833.2.
 (a) The department may investigate allegations and assess a penalty upon a substance use disorder treatment program licensed or certified under this part, suspend or revoke the license or certification of the program, and suspend or revoke the registration or certification of a counselor for, a violation of Section 11833.1.
(b) The department may investigate allegations against a licensed professional providing counseling services at a substance use disorder treatment program licensed, certified, or funded under this part, and recommend disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, termination of employment at a program and suspension and revocation of licensure by the respective licensing board.
SEC. 5.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that nonmedical, subacute treatment programs that provide alcohol addiction or narcotic addiction treatment receive information from health insurance providers regarding coverage of treatment services for patients, clients, or customers, including all of the following:
(1) That verification that services are covered, orally or in writing, or both, constitutes an intent to cover the costs of those services, subject to the limitations expressed in the enrollee’s or subscriber’s policy.
(2) That an authorization of services constitutes an affirmative representation that the services are covered and treatment providers are entitled to rely on that authorization.
(3) That after the service has been initiated, any verification, orally or in writing, or both, that the cost of extending the duration of the services will be covered, constitutes an intent to cover the cost of those services, subject to the limitations expressed in the enrollee’s or subscriber’s policy.
(4) That the health insurance provider will rely on the definition of medical necessity as defined in the American Society of Addiction Medicine or the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
(b) This section does not expand or alter the benefits available to the enrollee or subscriber under a plan.