Addiction Rehab Referral Scam
In a recent news article by ‘The Times‘, Daniel Gerrard who offers Drug and Alcohol Intervention Services in London the UK was referred to as a ‘Parasite’ who sells addicts to clinics for £20,000 aided by the giant search engine, Google.
Daniel Gerrard, a former addict and city bond trader recently met with two executives who he thought were setting up a new luxury rehabilitation centre for addiction in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. Little did he know that the two executives were undercover reporters for The Sunday Times.
The Referral Scam!
Gerrard from Addiction Helper has arrangements with many clinics around the country to receive up to 30% of any fee paid by a patient it has referred and declines to share his commission with addicts. Rehabilitation clinics such as Priory and Gladstones can cost up to £30,000.
Gerrard and Oliver Clark from ADT Healthcare both met the undercover newspaper reporters. In a video statement, they stated they can reap commission between £10,000 per referral to £21,000 from luxury clinics.
Addiction Helpers cut would naturally depend on how much the clinic charges. Some rehabs charge £4,000 a month to as much as £44,000 a week such as the luxury Kusnacht rehab, which is based in Zürich. Since Kusnacht fees are so high, Addiction Helper charges only a 10% or 12% fee, which still brings in £21,000 for just one referral if the patient stays for a month, which is ‘short term recovery’.
Gerrard states that at certain times his helpline has been forced to pay Google an extraordinary £200 each time a person clicked to access the website. Gerrard pays Google £350,000 per month for advertising, which works out to £4.2m a year.
Gerrard states the following:
“We are the biggest spender in the business,” said Gerrard. “So if there’s people out there looking for treatment, they’re going to come to us.”
ADT Healthcare pay Google £60,000 a month on advertising and at times pay Google up to £150 for a click on their website
Oliver Clark on the other-hand states he would “definitely” not tell the patients about such financial arrangements between himself and the rehab clinics. He said that families “don’t like the idea of paying brokering fees”, and he pretends he is on an annual retainer from the clinics if anyone asks him directly.
These referral agents from the UK auction-off addict to the highest bidder (like you would auction off cattle)
Clark had the following to say:
“I’m a very straight talker, that’s the bottom line. If it is at that (30%) fee then you are much more likely to be getting referrals from us”
Referral agents such as Clark and Gerrard blame the high commission fees on the “cost of acquisition” — by which they mean Google who have a whopping annual advertising revenue of around £59bn per year.
Just recently Google clamped-down on rehabs in the US and removed queries such as ‘addiction’ and ‘rehab’ from Adwords.
And as a result of the Sunday Times investigation, Google removed all advertising related to the addiction industry from its UK platforms.
Did you know it is illegal to make money from referring patients in several states in the US, and Florida has a law that makes “patient brokering” a specific offence, but yet Google still reap profits from countries such as the UK, South Africa and many other countries!
Dominic McCann who is an industry critic of the referral system, and is a director of the Castle Craig Drug and Alcohol Rehab Clinic in Scotland believes that referral agents are “parasites targeting sick people at the most desperate time of their lives”.
McCann stated Google was “devoid of ethics” for allowing referral agents such as Daniel Gerrard to advertise. “Google is allowing these referral agents to pay vast sums in order to dominate the online advertising space. People are turning to a Google search for advice and guidance, but are being lured to referral agent websites”
“Google may be complicit by pocketing millions of pounds from exorbitant advertising fees, which pushes up the price of rehab for patients and families and contributes to a deterioration in the quality of clinical standards.”
The ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Google team had the following to say:
“We work to help healthcare providers – from doctors to hospitals and treatment centres – get online and connect with people who need their help. Substance abuse is a growing crisis and has led to deceptive practices by intermediaries that we need to better understand. In the US, we restricted ads entirely in this category and we have decided to extend this to the UK as we consult with local experts to update our policy and find a better way to connect those that need help with the treatment they need.”
I wonder if Google, Clark and Gerrard would be willing to refund all the millions they scammed from addicts? Nope, I doubt it, they will simply update their policies and find a better way to scam addicts!
The surprising part is; Last November, the Care Quality Commission wrote a damning report finding that 72% of English rehab clinics were failing. But yet Google did nothing about it (they only reacted when they were incriminated in the rehab scam)
The upsetting part is that some of the referral agents such as Daniel Gerrard operate or uses more than 300 websites to attract people to its call lines. So it makes my job so much more difficult in ranking addiction treatment websites.
Reality is; ethical rehabs are been suppressed by ‘Addiction Treatment Parasitism’ and Google allow it.
The greed for money, the root of all evil is without a doubt the most serious mental illnesses that an individual could suffer from.
‘Addiction Treatment Parasitism’ should be classed as a mental disorder!
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