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Ethics Complaint Process

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NAATP is not a licensing, accrediting, certifying, or policing body. NAATP is a professional society of like-minded service providers who work to provide values-based best practice care for addiction.

To ensure that NAATP members adhere to the NAATP Code of Ethics (Code), NAATP has created a complaint process that may be utilized to review ethical conduct of NAATP members. If NAATP receives a properly submitted complaint against a member, we will investigate the matter. If NAATP believes a member has violated the Code of Ethics, the member may be removed.

If you have a complaint about a NAATP treatment center member, please follow these steps:

  1. Contact the treatment center.
    • Most treatment facilities have an internal complaint process. 
  2. Contact the accrediting body. This is typically CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) or TJC (The Joint Commission). Accrediting bodies require that treatment centers deliver care pursuant to specific quality and safety standards.
  3. Contact the State Licensing Agency. Addiction treatment should only be delivered if the agency is licensed to deliver the specific service. Treatment centers and their professional employees are usually licensed by the state in which the center does business. Contact the state licensing agency to file a complaint or to speak with someone about your concerns.
  4. File a complaint by contacting the State Better Business Bureau. The Treatment Center must be registered with the BBB in order to file a formal complaint. 
  5. File a complaint with NAATP by using the online form linked at the bottom of the page.

Policy

NAATP encourages professionalism and ethical practice by addiction treatment providers. NAATP members must conduct themselves professionally and ethically. The foundation and authority for ethical practice within NAATP is the NAATP Code of Ethics (Code).

NAATP members are required to adopt and comply with all provisions of the Code as a condition of membership. NAATP members further agree, as a condition of membership, that the disciplinary action described herein, including the suspension or termination of membership, may be taken against them for failure to comply with the Code as determined in the sole discretion of NAATP.

While NAATP is not a licensing, certifying, accrediting, or policing body, it does determine who is eligible for membership in its professional association. Membership in NAATP is a privilege, not a right. The privilege of membership requires ethical practices and adherence to the Code. NAATP shall, therefore, receive and investigate Complaints against NAATP members for alleged violations of the Code, and may also initiate its own investigation into a member’s possible violation of the Code. Members are required, as a condition of membership, to fully cooperate with any such investigations.

The Code is focused on treatment provider business operational activity and not clinical service delivery. As such, Complaints should focus on alleged violations of a business practice or practices as defined in the Code.

Procedure

A Complaint against a NAATP member may be filed in accordance with the following procedure.   

Third Party Complaints

NOTE: The Ethics Complaint Process provides no legal or equitable relief to a Complainant and is strictly limited to a review of a member organization’s compliance with the Code and the organization’s continued membership in NAATP. Any claims for damages or injunctive relief should be filed with the appropriate legal authority. Any claims about an organization’s licensing, certification, or accreditation should be filed with the applicable licensing, certifying, or accrediting authorities.

  1. Prior to filing a Complaint with NAATP, the Complainant should attempt to resolve its dispute directly with the NAATP member, using all available channels. If a Complainant is unable to resolve its dispute with an NAATP member, the Complainant may file a written Complaint with NAATP, by submitting the Ethics Violation Complaint Form online.
     
  2. The Complaint must (a) identify the member organization that is alleged to have violated the Code (the “Respondent”); (b) describe the act(s) at issue and the reason(s) for filing the Complaint; (c) state whether the acts are ongoing or continuing; (d) explain why the acts violate the Code; (e) provide any relevant or supporting information and documentation; and (f) be signed and dated by the Complainant.
     
  3. NAATP shall not accept anonymous Complaints, and shall not guarantee complete confidentiality.  In order to investigate a Complaint, and in the interest of fair process, NAATP shall disclose the Complainant’s identity to the Respondent and possibly others. If requested, NAATP shall attempt to limit such disclosures to only those with a need to know.
     
  4. Upon receipt of a Complaint, NAATP’s Executive Director shall determine whether the Respondent is a NAATP member and whether the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of the Code. If the Respondent is not a NAATP member, or the Complaint does not indicate a violation of the Code, the Complainant shall be notified of that fact and the matter shall be closed by NAATP with no further action.
     
  5. If the Respondent is a NAATP member, and the Complaint involves a potential Code violation, NAATP’s Executive Director shall (a) forward a copy of the Complaint to the Respondent with a request that the Respondent provide a response to NAATP within thirty (30) calendar days; (b) set a date upon which the NAATP Ethics Committee (the “Committee”) shall review the Complaint and any response submitted by the Respondent; and (c) provide a copy of the Complaint and a notice of the review date to the members of the Committee.
     
  6. On the date indicated, the Committee shall review the Complaint and any documents or information submitted with the Complaint, together with any Response or other information submitted by the Respondent, as well as any other information that becomes available to the Committee. If the Committee requires further information from the Respondent or a third party, the Committee shall have the right to contact and consult with those parties.  Upon completion of its review, the Committee shall make a determination as to whether a Code violation has occurred, and then recommend an appropriate course of action to the Executive Director.
     
  7. After receiving the Committee’s determination and recommendation, the Executive Director shall decide, within his or her sole discretion, what course of action NAATP should take against the Respondent as a result of the Complaint and NAATP’s investigation. Thereafter the Executive Director shall notify the Complainant and the Respondent of the decision, which may include any of the following:
    • Based upon the information, there does not appear to be any violation of NAATP’s Code of Ethics. The investigation has been closed and no further action shall be taken.
    • Based upon the information, a violation of NAATP’s Code of Ethics has occurred, and
      1. The Respondent is issued a warning and is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      2. The Respondent is directed to immediately develop and implement a corrective action plan and is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      3. The Respondent is ineligible, until further notice, to be an exhibitor or to sponsor or display or promote any products or services at NAATP’s national conference; and/or
      4. The Respondent’s membership is suspended, effective immediately, pending the completion of a corrective action plan or pending other instructions, and the Respondent is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      5. The Respondent’s membership is terminated effective immediately.
         
  8. There shall be no right of appeal, review or reconsideration of any action taken as a result of the Complaint and NAATP’s investigation. The decision shall be final and binding.
     
  9. In the event that a Respondent’s membership is terminated, the Respondent may reapply for membership after a twelve (12) month period, upon a showing to the Executive Director (and the determination by the Executive Director, in his or her sole discretion) that the Ethics Code violation for which the termination occurred has been remedied and has fully abated.
     
  10. NAATP shall not be responsible to any Complainant, legally or otherwise, for any acts or omissions of a Respondent or of any NAATP member organization, or for NAATP’s response to or investigation of any Complaint, or for any of NAATP’s acts or omissions in connection with enforcement of its Code of Ethics or its implementation of this policy and procedures.  NAATP shall not accept or investigate any Complaint unless the Complainant agrees, in writing, to release, waive and hold NAATP harmless from and against any costs, expenses, claims, assessments, penalties, taxes, damages, and losses, including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, arising from any acts or omissions of an NAATP member organization or NAATP itself.

Investigation Initiated by NAATP 

  1. If NAATP has reason to believe that a NAATP member has violated or is violating the Code, the Executive Director may commence an investigation into such alleged violation by preparing a Complaint that (a) identifies the member organization who is alleged to have violated the Code (the “Respondent”); (b) describes the act(s) at issue and the reason(s) for the Complaint; (c) states whether the acts are ongoing or continuing; (d) explains why the acts violate the Code; (e) provides any relevant or supporting information and documentation.
     
  2. The Executive Director shall then (a) forward a copy of the Complaint to the Respondent with a request that the Respondent provide a response to NAATP within thirty (30) calendar days; (b) set a date upon which the Committee shall review the Complaint and any response submitted by the Respondent; and (c) provide a copy of the Complaint to the members of the Committee.
     
  3. The Committee shall review the Complaint and any documents or information supporting the Complaint, together with any Response or other information submitted by the Respondent, as well as any other information that becomes available to the Committee. If the Committee requires further information from the Respondent or a third party, the Committee shall have the right to contact and consult with those parties. Upon completion of its review, the Committee shall make a determination as to whether a Code violation has occurred, and then recommend an appropriate course of action to the Executive Director.
     
  4. After receiving the Committee’s determination and recommendation, the Executive Director shall decide, within his or her sole discretion, what course of action NAATP should take against the Respondent as a result of the Complaint and NAATP’s investigation. Thereafter, the Executive Director shall notify the Respondent of his or her decision, which may include any of the following:
    • Based upon the information submitted and reviewed, there does not appear to be any violation of NAATP’s Code of Ethics.  The investigation has been closed and no further action shall be taken.
    • Based upon the information submitted and reviewed, a violation of NAATP’s Code of Ethics has occurred, and
      1. The Respondent is issued a warning and is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      2. The Respondent is directed to immediately develop and implement a corrective action plan and is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      3. The Respondent is ineligible, until further notice, to be an exhibitor or to sponsor or display or promote any products or services at NAATP’s national conference; and/or
      4. The Respondent’s membership is suspended, effective immediately, pending the completion of a corrective action plan or pending other instructions, and the Respondent is instructed to refrain from any further Code violations; and/or
      5. The Respondent’s membership is terminated effective immediately.
         
  5. There shall be no right of appeal, review or reconsideration of any action taken by the Executive Director as a result of the Complaint and NAATP’s investigation. The Executive Director’s decision shall be final and binding.
     
  6. In the event that a Respondent’s membership is terminated, the Respondent may reapply for membership after a twelve (12) month period, upon a showing to the Executive Director (and the determination by the Executive Director, in his or her sole discretion) that the Ethics Code violation for which the termination occurred has been remedied and has fully abated.
     
  7. NAATP shall not be responsible to any member organization, legally or otherwise, for NAATP’s initiation, response to or investigation of any Complaint, or for any acts or omissions committed by NAATP in connection with enforcement of its Code of Ethics or its implementation of this policy and procedures.  As a condition of membership, all NAATP member organizations agree to release, waive and hold NAATP harmless from and against any costs, expenses, claims, assessments, penalties, taxes, damages, and losses, including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, arising from or in any way related to NAATP’s initiation, response to or investigation of any Complaint, or any acts or omissions committed by NAATP in connection with enforcement of its Code of Ethics or its implementation of this policy and procedures.

File an Online Complaint

Ethics Violation Complaint Form