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Do You Own Your Brand or Will Congress?

Last week, The United States Congress sent out 8 letters to various treatment lead generation companies, demanding answers to some questions by a set deadline of June 12th, 2018.

If this doesn't make treatment center operators up to what is coming down the pipeline, I don't know what will.  A year ago, you could run Google Adwords and it didn't require a lot of branding or work, just the right keyword, right message, right time and boom...client. Then, Adwords pulled away and took that option from you. That left you grabbing for anything you could get.  So you turned to call centers to generate calls and now congress is going after those people.  Make no mistake, if you don't begin building your own personal brand, you will be left behind. 

Below we provide you with the top level questions as those show us what they are trying to do here. There are roughly 3-6 sub-questions to each main questions here.  You can view the actual letters sent here if you would like.  Here are those questions:

  1. Does your call center refer, connect, or recommend individuals seeking treatment for substance use disorder with substance use disorder treatment facilities, detox center, and/or sober living homes?
  2. How does your company determine the facility to which it will refer an individual?
  3. Does your company assist individuals in obtaining or signing up for health insurance? If so, please describe the role that your company has in assisting individuals in that process. 
  4. Is your company a standalone entity or do you have affiliations with other companies or facilities; including but not limited to, other call centers, lead generators, websites, substance use disorder treatment facilities, detox centers, sober living homes, etc.
  5. What, if any, websites do you own or operate to advertise your call center?
  6. Has you company paid any of the internet search engines for ad optimization of your website or any of the websites affiliated with your company?
  7. Please provide a breakdown of the number of calls that your company has received and/or routed to any facilities by month from January 2013 to present. 
  8. Are there requirement for those who work at your call center(s) to have any certification or training to ensure they are qualified to help individuals who are seeking assistance in deciding which treatment facility is most appropriate for them? If so, please describe any such certifications or trainings. 
  9. Have any facilities that you have connected patients with, owned, or operated had a license revoked or been shut down? If so, for each such facility, why was a license revoked or the facility shut down?
  10. Have any criminal charges been brought again individuals employed by your company or any affiliated treatment facilities in relation to work done for the companies? If so, please list the individuals and charges and indicate whether the individuals are still employed by the company. 

Obviously, the questions here are looking to find the treatment facilities that are or have engaged in body brokering in the past.  They reference call centers a lot in this document as well.  

To us, this means one thing.  The days of buying calls are done. The time has come for those that want to be in the business to build brands, provide quality care, and respect the fact that this isn't a game.