< period data-src = https://media.myfoxbostoncom.cmgdigital.com/photo/2017/11/15/25_Investigates___1_million_bill_for_man_0_9985186_ver1.0_640_360.jpg > The household of one regional guy, battling with an addiction to heroin, states he checked out 22 drug rehab programs over five years and tallied more than $1 million in insurance claims prior to he overdosed and died in Florida in 2015. The story of Michael Elliott of Chester, New Hampshire is just the most recent revealed by 25 Investigates in a year-long investigation of bogus, out-of-state, recovery programs implicated of victimizing addicts and cashing in on the billion-dollar drug treatment industry.Linda Demmons states her child, Michael's addiction problems started with pills, however quickly advanced to heroin. In spite of initially looking for out help near their house in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, Demmons states her child's condition went"downhill quick.""I wanted him to prove to me that he was getting much better. And exactly what he was informing me and what was happening wasn't the same," said Demmons.In Might, 25 Examines initially reported how numerous out-of-state healing programs unlawfully hired addicts from New England, luring them with totally free flights, complimentary lodging and even cash-- all while billing their insurance for countless dollars.But Demmons insists her son was not hired. Instead, she states he benefited from a deceitful system that was currently benefiting from
addicts. She states her child's insurance coverage card, on his household's strategy, was all he had to get a number of healing centers to pay his way, totally free of charge. "All he needed to do was choose up the phone. And it was like having a gold card, "said Demmons."He utilized it as his method to live.
"Michael Elliott's chaotic journey from one rehabilitation program to another came to an end on April 1st, 2016. Authorities found his body in the
yard of a halfway home in Riviera Beach, Florida. Elliott, 25, died from an overdose including a combination of drugs, according to the coroner.A 25 Investigates review of Elliott's insurance statements revealed claims continued to roll in almost 2 months after he died.Aetna Insurance coverage verifies it received a claim of
$ 1,300 for"medical services" for Elliott, provided on May 30, 2016 by Dr. Rostislav Ignatov, Medical Director of The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches in Lake Worth, FL.When 25 Examines went to the center in individual, a receptionist told Investigative Reporter Eric Rasmussen the physician was"out "despite the fact that a Mercedes SUV was parked in the individual parking space reserved for Dr. Ignatov.In an email, the
treatment center's interim CEO told 25 Examines the patient's insurance was" billed incorrectly"and has considering that been fixed. Aetna informs 25 Examines it is now conducting its own review of the insurance claims."There's a lot of folks capitalizing
of the circumstance,"says Louis Saccoccio, CEO of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, based in Washington, D.C.Saccoccio, who leads
a public-private effort to combat healthcare fraud, says abuse of insurance coverage advantages in the dependency recovery industry has actually ended up being considerable enough to effect insurance rates paid by everyone."That has an effect on insurance coverage premiums. It has an influence on taxes that you pay for Medicare, federal taxes, state taxes for Medicaid,"said Saccoccio.Advocates for those fighting addiction say the story of Michael Elliott has actually become so common, it has a name:"The Florida Shuffle.""What the Florida Shuffle is exactly
exactly what you're looking into and investigating. Place to place to location, on the streets, overdosing and passing away, "stated Costs Pfaff, who leads a volunteer effort in Massachusetts to help addicts and get them into legitimate treatment programs.The State of Florida just recently passed a new law needing telemarketers in the healing market to be licensed. The law also expands prosecutors'powers to pursue so-called patient brokers who illegally target people in requirement of help.While Pfaff says he's seeing enhancements, more needs to be done."Bouncing from facility to facility to facility, with insurance
companies being billed millions of dollars, and the individual ends up deceased?"said Pfaff."It's wrong."