Advocacy Alert: California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs SUD Client Bill of Rights into Law

April 21, 2022


The California Ethical Treatment for Persons with Substance Use Disorder Act (Senate Bill 349 Umberg) was signed into statute by Governor Newson on April 13th, 2022, and will codify much-needed ethical practices and standards for the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment community. This bill establishes a client bill of rights for SUD patients and cracks down on exploitative actors utilizing practices like deceptive marketing and malicious referrals to prey upon Californians seeking assistance with addiction treatment.

"Over the years, we have seen countless examples of how longstanding stigma and discrimination have signaled to bad actors the SUD community is ripe for exploitation," said President and CEO of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP), Pete Nielsen.

"With headlines like, 'Fraud's Newest Hot Spot: The Opioid Epidemic and the Corresponding Rise of Unethical Addiction Treatment Providers' and 'Ex-President and CEO of Long Beach Substance Abuse Treatment Provider Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud,' we are incredibly grateful to Senator Umberg and his staff for championing increased consumer safeguards."

"As champions of SB 636 and SB 1268, California's landmark patient brokering bills, CCAPP is proud to have led the effort in improving consumer protections in the treatment space," said CCAPP Board of Directors, Chair, Lisa Beintker.

"Today, we continue to build upon the protections led out in SB 636 and SB 1268 with SB 349, which expands measures against patient brokering mechanisms and adds an educational mechanism to inform SUD patients on their rights to ethical treatment. SUD patients have weathered the consequences of a health care system that marginalized their needs and their illness for too long, SB 349 not only normalizes patient expectations for care but also gives teeth to those protections, allowing victims and public legal entities to pursue fines of up to $20,000 against unscrupulous entities."

A reminder that BHAP's Certificate in Addiction Treatment Marketing was developed in order to teach you best practices and practical tips about marketing your addiction treatment program ethically.

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