How does ‘Patient Brokering’ work?


I’m halfway through this film called ‘Body Brokers’ set in America, where people go out and find drug addicts and take them to treatment centres and they don’t have to pay.

They are saying that somehow this generates money for the person finding them and even money for the addict sometimes, with money for each urine sample. I don’t get it?? Where is all this magical money coming from? Surely the Insurance company just pays back the cost of the actual accommodation, staff wages, medications, etc. so I don’t understand why it is some kind of big business, or why it is against the law to find and help addicts…

What am I missing?

In: 4

It’s just like tow truck drivers being forbidden to stop and offer help to people that are obviously broken down on the side of the road.

They are at their most vulnerable in those circumstances. And people being people, someone is gonna take advantage. You could promise addicts anything to get them to come stay at the facility. You lock em away until they are clean with out giving tools to them to be able to stay that way once they leave. Three weeks later you go find them and do it all over again. Usually it would be the state footing the hill and you have no incentive to actually help them.

[infographic on patient brokering](

It’s a form of healthcare fraud. The recruiters get paid by insurance companies or rehab centers for bringing in initial new patients to a specific rehab center. The patients get paid for their urine samples because their urine sample is basically “proof of a patient” to insurance companies so now the rehab centers can bill insurance companies for all types of tests/treatments that don’t actually help the patient long term. Once the patient leaves the facility they are more likely to come back.