The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) is a pioneering professional society comprised of the top addiction treatment providers in the country. Together they work to help all members improve their level of care for patients and families, and uphold a strict code of ethics that makes them an industry-leading association in addiction treatment.
Improving the quality of care through a focused mission
The professionals at NAATP are dedicated to helping treatment centers throughout the US elevate their image by applying high standards of care and ethics to their members so that those in need can identify what treatment centers to consider for their care. The organization’s strategy is driven directly by its overarching mission statement:
“The mission of NAATP is to provide leadership, advocacy, training, and member support services to ensure the availability and highest quality of addiction treatment.”
NAATP has outlined a comprehensive code of ethics that applies to all member organizations and covers various aspects of substance use disorder treatment and business operations. This code outlines the standards of conduct for which the members are responsible for upholding and ensures a standardized level of care for patients no matter what type of treatment they are seeking or where they are located.
Maintaining strict standards for member organizations
The ethics code outlined by NAATP covers four distinct sections, and the ethical criteria apply to a variety of topics within each section, including but not limited to:
- Treatment: Centers must establish and follow specific treatment criteria for each type of service provided, and all treatment must protect the dignity and legal rights of the patient
- Management: Member organizations must employ credentialed staff as applicable, provide transparent fee structures that are visible to the public, and refrain from engaging in any type of harassment regarding any protected class under federal law
- Facilities: The facilities operated by member organizations must meet all local, state, and federal codes, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and must be operated in a way that enhances their community
- Marketing: Deceptive, degrading, and illegal practices such as patient brokering, deceptive advertising, and exposing clients’ identities for marketing or any other business purpose are strictly prohibited
NAATP verifies that all member organizations are in compliance with the code of ethics prior to granting membership privileges. They also offer an ethics complaint procedure that anyone (patient, employee, outside observer, etc.) can use to report any breaches which will be investigated by NAATP, provided they have reason to believe the violation is valid.
The need for industry watchdogs and enhanced governance
In an ideal world, every patient would be able to seek treatment at any authorized facility and expect certain qualities as a given, such as a high standard of care, honest marketing, and transparent business tactics. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world, and malicious actors in the substance use disorder treatment industry have devised many different techniques they can use to defraud patients and purposefully maintain a substandard level of care.
Investigations have uncovered numerous fraudulent and unethical practices taking place at substance use disorder treatment centers. Some of the most egregious practices include:
- Treatment centers defrauding insurance companies by keeping addicts addicted to a substance
- Opaque and unethical billing practices, including unnecessary drug screens and lab tests
- Overlooking or even encouraging further drug use
- Pushing costly, unproven, and unorthodox therapies that have little chance of success
Treatment centers have a vested interest in delivering a high level of care and business practice across the board, which is why it is so important for them to have the resources and guidelines provided by NAATP to fall back on.
Everyone wins when treatment centers follow NAATP’s lead
When more treatment facilities abide by NAATP’s ethics code, it leads to a rising tide that lifts all participants…patients, providers, and payers. Patients receive a higher and more standardized level of healthcare: providers of care at treatment centers can acquire patients responsibly by assuring them that the organization’s practices are held to best practice standards by an outside entity, and payers are protected from fraudulent billing practices eliminating costly lawsuits and damage to members benefits.
AZZLY is proud to be a member of NAATP. Establishing standards of care, whereby a provider and an organization can better manage outcomes and quality of care is a must in behavioral healthcare. One of the main reasons why we support NAATP’s commitment is to further uphold its ethics code and spearhead the use of standards of care in substance use disorder treatment. Like NAATP, our goal is to give treatment centers the innovative tools that they need to treat every patient with the level of care they deserve and run a successful and ethical business that is a pillar in their community.
AZZLY, Inc is an EHR and Revenue Cycle Management solution built for addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare providers for clinical documentation and claims submissions.