Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg Launches Website to Convince Federal Policymakers to Fix the Florida Shuffle
“The Florida Shuffle” refers to illegal patient brokering and insurance fraud within the drug treatment industry that keeps patients in an unending cycle of opioid dependence. “Although there are many good drug treatment and sober living providers in Florida and elsewhere,” said Aronberg, “the unscrupulous ones encourage relapse over recovery to line their pockets with insurance money and financial kickbacks.”
Aronberg, who has fought opioid abuse since 2001 as a Florida Assistant Attorney General, State Senator, and now as State Attorney, urged Congressional action during testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last December. He currently leads a Sober Homes Task Force that has made 54 arrests and 22 convictions since October 2016, and led to changes in Florida law that enhanced criminal penalties and tightened oversight over the rehab industry.
Aronberg said the website was a response to the federal government’s failure to address this crisis: “The website shows the public and the policymakers themselves how well-intended laws such as the Affordable Care Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act have been misused by unscrupulous individuals within the rehab industry for financial gain to keep addicts in a perpetual cycle of relapse.”
The website includes a explanation of the Florida Shuffle along with specific proposals to fix it, an updating news section about the issue, social media links and an online petition to urge federal action.
One of the proposals on the new website is for Congress to pass the “Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act” by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), which would expand the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute patient brokering kickbacks involving private sector rehab. Aronberg has worked with both Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) on these issues, which led to the recent introduction of this legislation.
No taxpayer funds were used for the new website, which went live today.