Trenton – Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Joseph Cryan’s bill to prohibit financial incentives for substance use treatment facilities was voted out of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today and will move to the State Senate for a vote. The companion bill has passed the Assembly.
The bill, S-1763, prohibits substance use treatment facilities from paying or otherwise furnishing any fee, commission, or rebate to any person for referring patients to the facility for treatment or services. Each violation of the bill is punishable by a civil penalty of up to $25,000. The civil penalties imposed under the bill will not apply to the payment of fee, commission, rebate, or other factors that do not vary based on the number of patients referred to a substance use treatment facility.
“A system that allows financial incentives for putting or keeping someone in a substance use disorder treatment facility can only lead to bad practices,” Senator Gopal said (D-Monmouth). “This bill will not allow facilities to profit off of those suffering from a disorder. These facilities are meant to offer help, support, and rehabilitation, not push these individuals towards relapsing just so the treatment facility can continue to make money. This bill will ensure that those kinds of practices will not happen in the state of New Jersey.”
“When a person is struggling with substance abuse, the last thing they need is for someone looking to make money off of their condition,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union). “These men and women are extremely vulnerable and need care and compassion, not a salesman. We need to do more to address addiction as a public health problem, especially during the COVID pandemic, which has made the problem worse and treatment more difficult to obtain. Allowing a profit motive would make them prone to exploitation when they need treatment.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 6-2.