In our previous article, Rehab Racket: CNN Investigates Shady Drug Rehab Programs, CNN begins to uncover bad practices with shady drug rehabs in California. Now we go even deeper in part 2 in the AC360 exclusive report. In Rehab Racket Part 2, investigators probe even more in-depth into the downright fraudulent practices of some drug rehabs in CA and expose the truth about these taxpayer funded facilities. Over 186 million state and federal tax dollars were spent on drug rehab programs within the last two years.
As a result of Rehab Racket’s first airing Monday, 29 Cailfornia drug rehab clinics have been temporarily suspended, and the investigations have caught the attention of CA Senator Ted Lieu – an advocate for drug rehabilitation as opposed to jail time – who has since requested a full independent audit of the Drug Medi-Cal program to address the severity and depth of fraud and to determine what legally can be done to prevent it from happening again.
Rehab Racket Part 2: Story 1
Pomona Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center and So Cal Health Services are drug rehabs that were servicing teens from a local group home. It was later discovered that many of the teens didn’t even have a drug or alcohol problem, and were told to go to group therapy anyway. A former employee of So Cal Health Services estimated that 30% of the teens didn’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and that the therapists were making up addictions. When the “patient” signs in to these bad drug rehabs, the clinic gets paid – it’s that simple. So Cal Health Services ended up shutting down because its funding was cut, but Pomona remained open. Both clinics are owned and operated by one man, Tim Ejindu; he drove off in a hurry when confronted by CNN reporters.
Rehab Racket Part 2: Story 2
Rehab Racket Part 2 reveals that in 2009, Tamara, a former Pride Health Center couselor, was asked to bill Medi-Cal for clients that didn’t exist, were in jail, and in one case – deceased. When she confronted the owners of the clinic she was told “…how do you think these lights are going to get paid?” and then she was terminated. Since then, the county did document issues with Pride Health, making statements that the county was in fact aware of potential ghost clients, missing paper work, and fraudulent practices. Despite these noted deficiencies, Pride remained open and the clinic was given over 1 million Medi-Cal dollars to continue running. When CNN reporters showed up at Pride Health Center on a Wednesday with hidden cameras, an employee said they did not hold group therapy on Wednesdays; CNN investigators revealed the clinic was billing for treating patients on Wednesdays anyway, and had been for years.
Rehab Racket Part 2: Good Treatment Clinics
Although not all county run drug rehab centers are bad, it is disturbing to say the least when it comes to the bad practices of these government funded drug rehab programs. As a result of these shady clinics, this is one of the benefits of attending a private addiction treatment center. When searching out a drug rehab it’s best to know that the facility has appropriate licenses, state accreditations, and well-known affiliations. We hope that people become more aware of these bad rehabs and the Rehab Racket investigation brings light to an otherwise dark situation, resulting in a change in the taxpayer-funded drug rehab system. Addiction treatment is a process and cannot be fixed overnight. Be weary of clinics that don’t offer full care for your drug or alcohol addiction needs.
Rehab Racket CNN Video Series: Watch Now!
Tags: Addiction Treatment, CA, California, cnn, Drug Rehab, Government funded programs, rehab racket