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California addiction treatment facilities must update their marketing materials to comply with new law

Beginning January 1, 2022, substance use disorder treatment facilities licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) must disclose information about their licenses, including the license number and expiration date, in specific ways. In particular, the facility must disclose its licensure information in the following circumstances:

  • To any person who inquires about the facility’s license in writing, verbally, electronically, or by any other method of communication between the person and the facility.
  • By posting on the facility’s external website in a clear and conspicuous manner (1) the language “Licensed by the State Department of Health Care Services” and (2) a link to DHCS’s external website that contains the facility’s license number and expiration date.
  • In any print, audio, or electronic advertising or marketing of the facility in a clear and conspicuous manner.

The law also suggests – but does not require – that facilities include the following items in anything they use for advertising and marketing purposes: (1) the language “Licensed by the State Department of Health Care Services” and (2) a link to DHCS’s external website, where individuals can find the facility’s license number and expiration date.

Similarly, programs certified by DHCS must disclose their certification status in the same manner.

The stated purpose of the new law is to increase transparency in the addiction treatment industry. In adopting this law, the state legislature appears to have been motivated by recent examples of fraud in the addiction treatment industry, including several high profile instances of insurance fraud. This change comes on the heels of a 2018 law prohibiting patient brokering by facilities licensed or certified by DHCS.

Tags

health care & life sciences, california, substance use disorder, addiction treatment

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