If you want a revealing look inside the growth industry of our time — the drug and alcohol rehab sector — take a look at this House subcommittee hearing from Tuesday. Of particular interest is the testimony from American Addiction Center’s CEO Michael Cartwright. The company owns Desert Hope and Solutions in Las Vegas.
Last month, while investigating a story on rehabs, the Current questioned AAC’s Las Vegas executive David Marlon about the company’s practice of paying its call center intake personnel on commission.
Marlon responded in an email “… you are misinformed about our compensation practices. Our compensation practices are legally compliant; in fact, we have advocated for legislation that removes conflicts of interest in addiction industry compensation structures.”
Cartwright was asked Tuesday how AAC pays its call center personnel. His answer comes just before the 1:52:00 mark, in case you want to watch.
“Today they are paid a salary. Today it’s a salary. Prior to July first…and again I go back to the Tennesse law that was passed. I think it’s the most aggressive law in the state related to these bad practices we all want rid of, they were paid on a commission basis.”
Cartwright testified the company also gave up paying bonuses to call center workers “as of July first.”
In other words, AAC gave up “these bad practices we all want rid of” that they previously refused to admit, just in time for the Congressional inquiry into those practices.