Drug testing has been around for decades, and has been used for employment situations where drug use could seriously affect the lives of millions, such as the airlines, railways, and other industries that involve public safety. Collegiate and professional sports teams routinely monitor athletes for several different types of drugs.
Recently, health insurance companies changed their guidelines on the medical necessity of opiate painkillers, requiring doctors to get urine drug tests before renewing prescriptions. This may have been what opened the door to some people determining how they could best use the simple urine drug test for making a mountain of money.
What some drug detox companies and drug testing companies behind the scenes have been doing is jacking up the price of a simple urine test for drugs – a value of $25 to $30 all the way up to $1500 or $3000 and then passing along the bill to the consumer.
How the Urine Drug Testing is Adding Up
One could calculate the profit on this and find huge sums of money that could be charged. For example, a 30-day drug detox program that already costs $3000 per week could be running three urine drug tests a week, causing a total of $30,000 instead of the usual $12,000 for the month. That would be the total program cost for a urine drug test of $1500; if the drug detox program charged $3000 for one urine drug test, then the cost would be $48,000!
Some homes for those who have already been rehabbed test the urine daily of their clients. It’s common knowledge that all drugs stay in the body for so many days, and if a drug does show up in the urine, it will be there at least for the amount of time it takes the body to detox. Thus, technically, there is no need to retest the urine during the body’s detoxification time.
These bills from the detox drug center or recovery center are a devastating ‘discovery’ for anyone paying for their loved one to go through drug detox. Many people end up refinancing their house for the $20,000 or more it takes for the cost of drug detox because they are so committed to their family member getting over the drug abuse once and for all.
And when you look at the income for the drug detox center or the sober home for the entire year if they only house four clients, you’ll see a figure of $72,000 up to $144,000 per month, or $864,000 to $1,728,000 per year. That’s big money for a small company! Six clients per month would bring in over $2.59 million per year.
And if the owner of either the drug testing company or the drug detox or drug rehab company has multiple locations, the company revenue could be upwards of $20 million, made solely on the urine drug tests.
Interestingly, some of the drug detox/drug rehab companies and sober homes involved in the scam were not charging clients to live in their home. Was this simply a matter of feeling guilty about what was going on, or was it the ‘goodness’ of their hearts to let some addicted clients truly get help? Or was it because each client made so much money for the company that the costs of their living expenses and treatment was so minimal? There is much to be considered here!
Lawsuits in Motion Right Now for Urine Drug Testing Misuse
In a recent investigation of the matter, 30 Florida drug testing labs were directly or indirectly tied to the owner of 20 treatment centers and sober homes, according to The Palm Beach Post.
The companies are getting called under the carpet for the inappropriate charges to the Medicare and Medicaid insurance companies. Other insurance companies are starting to sue lab companies in federal court. One drug testing company called Sky Toxicology offered doctors kickbacks for the profits of the urine drug tests and is now facing a $20 million lawsuit, according to The Post.
There are many problems here that are resulting from this “golden urine” opportunity:
- The cost of drug rehab and sober living for clients and their families that could conceivably cause bankruptcy to the families
- The immediate displacement of the clients from these homes when the homes close down
- Deciphering which drug detox/drug rehab facilities and sober houses are not simply out for your hard-earned money
- The doctors who knowingly signed up for the kickbacks (This is similar to the pharmaceutical companies offering kickbacks and gifts to medical doctors, which was stopped by the government several years ago.)
- The public not being privy to which doctors were the ‘bad apples’
- The lack of standards and ethics for drug testing companies
How Can You Protect Yourself from the Urine Drug Testing Scam?
So how do you know if a drug rehab facility is up to these shenanigans? One way is to see if the drug rehab facility is accredited with the two major accreditation organizations – The Joint Commission (or JCAHO),and the CARF, which stands for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Facilities that have a board of directors who are truly concerned for their clientele will strive to do everything possible they can do for their clients. Their primary concern is not how much money is being made on the clients.
The second way is to really do some serious investigation into the ownership of the drug rehab facilities, and the drug testing companies they use for urine drug testing. See if you can find any type of relationship.
You can also ask very specific questions such as what are ALL the costs of the drug detox and drug rehab program – and get the answers in writing from the drug detox and drug rehab facility.