Two men from Boynton Beach have been arrested and charged with alleged patient brokering this past Tuesday after a four month long investigation by Palm Beach authorities. The two men, James Kligar and Christopher Hutson ran Whole Life Recovery sober home and were claimed by an informant to have been engaged in illegal patient brokering – a third degree felony.
Palm Beach county state attorney Dave Aronberg made the announcement ahead of a press conference announcing a crackdown on treatment services operating out of the county. By some accounts Palm Beach has close to a billion dollar drug treatment industry that has been at the center of major controversy since the amount of fraudulent insurance claims by treatment centers has skyrocketed. What was once considered to be a niche segment of the healthcare industry has now expanded into a highly lucrative trade. You can be assured that where there are growing profits conditions are rife for corruption to take place.
Attorney Dave Aronberg said these types of arrests are unique and that they plan to continue to ratchet up the heat of the investigation in the months to come. These kinds of arrests are a logical outgrowth of the recent backlash around the community surrounding these types of unsavory treatment centers engaged in insurance fraud, body brokering and illegal kickbacks. If there is money to be scrounged out of insurance companies these companies will find an underhanded scheme devoted to pilfering them. It had gotten so bad that at one point Cigna refused to even offer policies on the Florida exchange.
In June the investigation went underway after an informant came forward identifying the CEO of Whole Life Recovery, James Kigar and Christopher Hutson as offering kickbacks for rounding up addicts with medical coverage to be treated at their facility. After police were able to obtain recordings and other incriminating evidence against Kigar and Hutson they swooped in to make the arrests. As it would turn out this was not Hutson’s first arrest as he has a track record for similar impropriety involving addiction. In 2011 he plead guilty to conspiracy racketeering charges after he was identified as a key player in a 40 million dollar illegal pill mill operation.
Although this particular situation is in no way reflective of the entire treatment industry as a whole, there has indeed been an influx of disreputable and unscrupulous rehab providers looking to make a quick buck off the misery and pain of addicted people. These arrests are not an accurate representation of the hundreds and thousands of genuine care providers who are sincere in their desire to help.
Finding a Reputable Treatment Provider
It is important to not be negatively affected by stories like this and instead do your homework when looking to find a reliable and trustworthy source for drug and alcohol treatment. The case mentioned above is a minor footnote in what otherwise is a noble and worthwhile cause that saves untold lives. An established treatment provider has all up-to-date licensing and the necessary credentials in order to operate. As always do your research and don’t settle for subpar treatment servicers. A well respected and vetted rehab center will always go above and beyond for their patients.