NAATP began a program in 2017 designed to address the problem of unethical practices in our field. We call the program the Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI) and its 5-part purpose is to: Promote Best Business Practice, Deter Problematic Business Practice, Inform Payers and Policy Makers, Train the Provider, and Educate and Protect the Consumer. Within the QAI, we are particularly concerned with the following practices: Patient Brokering, Predatory Web Practice, Deceptive Web Directory Call Aggregation, Insurance/Billing Abuses, Payment Kickbacks, and Licensing & Accreditation Misrepresentation.
We now release a Revised "2.0" NAATP Code of Ethics (Code) adopted on December 31, 2017. The Code builds on the NAATP 2012 Code and addresses the particular concerns indicated above. We believe the importance of the Code is two-fold: 1) It can serve as a guide for ethical practice for our field at large, and 2) It mandates that all NAATP members adhere to its principles as a condition of membership. The Code is not an exhaustive description of best practices. It is a foundation below which no good provider should, nor which any NAATP provider may fall. NAATP members agree to the following statement as a condition of membership:
NAATP membership is a privilege. NAATP requires that all members adhere to NAATP Values, Membership Conditions, and the NAATP Code of Ethics. During the application and renewal process, members are required to attest that they have read, understand, and agree to adhere to each of these. Members must further agree that a failure to adhere, as determined in the sole discretion of NAATP, will result in disciplinary action by NAATP that may include: denial of membership application, corrective action by the member, or revocation of membership.
The majority of NAATP members, for 40 years, have been and continue to be honorable, values-based, ethical, high quality programs. We know that. We also know that we devalue ourselves as a professional society if we tolerate unethical practitioners within our association.
While it is true that we face difficult challenges in our work, we must not lose sight of our success. We know more about treating addiction and have better tools to treat our patients than ever before. There is now broad scientific, social, and political support for what we have always known: addiction is a primary, chronic, biological-psychological-social disease that is treatable. As a unified, competent, and ethical professional community, we are poised for success.