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Bill sponsored by Senator Barto takes aim at Arizona's booming drug rehab industry

A trio of bills take aim at a thornier part of the opioid epidemic that Gov. Doug Ducey's special legislative session did not address: emerging problems in Arizona's booming drug and alcohol rehab industry.

The Arizona Senate health committee on Friday advanced a patient-brokering bill that would prohibit rehab homes from paying fees or kickbacks to recruit patients. House and Senate health committees this week also advanced bills that would tighten oversight of the largely unregulated sober-home industry.

People familiar with Arizona's drug-rehab industry said the state's opioid epidemic has attracted some bad actors who pay brokers that recruit patients from 12-step programs.

Drug detoxification and rehab centers are willing to pay kickbacks because they can charge these newly-recruited patients — and their insurance plans — expensive fees.

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