Posted on 18 July, 2018

With drug abuse rising, an array of companies have found new ways to turn the problems of addicts into billable fortunes. And few are as profitable as those focused on the lowliest byproduct of any stint in rehab: urine.

Testing has long been part of recovery, a way for clinics to ensure that patients are staying clean. But starting in 2010, as opioid abuse evolved into a crisis and the Affordable Care Act offered insurance to millions more yo


ung people, the cost of urinalysis tests soared.

It was soon common for clinics and labs to charge more than $4,000 per test, and to test clients two or three times a week.

Today, many clinics have pushed into an industry once dominated by stand-alone labs, running their own testing operations and, in some cases, pocketing far more from urine testing than from other aspects of treatment. With huge profits for the taking, clinic-owned labs are multiplying — and upending the testing industry.

“In a lot of these places, the patients are basically just there to urinate, and management calls them ‘thoroughbreds,’” said Bill Griffin, a retired insurance fraud investigator in Florida. “This happens all day long, with thousands and thousands of kids. This is a billion-dollar fraud in Florida alone.”

The tests have caught the attention of the F.B.I. and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, which launched a task force — called Operation Thoroughbred — to investigate clinics and sober living homes.

(Reference to full article on the NY Times 12/27/2017 or simply follow the link below:

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