Teri Sforza reports on big money flowing into addiction treatment


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Addiction treatment is a booming business. In 2003 it was a $21 billion business, and it's expected to double to $42 billion in 2020.

That's a growth rate about three times faster than inflation, according to federal health and census data. There's lots of money to be made in the business. Opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999 and addiction treatment coverage is mandated under Obamacare.

Reporter Teri Sforza has a new piece in the OC Register detailing what's happened over the last few years:

"To fully appreciate the money flowing into addiction treatment, consider the size of the bill Tara Richards ran up during a five-month attempt to achieve sobriety at a rehab center in San Clemente —  $416,050.

Richards, of Maple Valley, Washington, came to Sovereign Health for help in July of 2014, according to court documents. She had private insurance – Regence Blue Shield – and signed forms agreeing to residential mental health treatment costing $3,410 per day. That care – plus 15 urine tests at $1,200 a pop – brought Richards’ bill to $123,000 for her first month of treatment..."

Teri Sforza joined us this afternoon to discuss her research:


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