SEO for Rehab Centers: What Changes with Coming Rehab Regulation from the Government?
Addiction-Rep’s Jim Peake has been warning for years against unethical marketing practices in the addiction treatment industry, and warning legitimate rehab programs – that are in the business to help those addicted to drugs and alcohol – to be wary of SEO specialists and marketing companies that are offering solutions that seem too good to be true. With Government intervention and regulations coming to the treatment industry, it is more important than ever to make sure that the SEO and marketing practices you employ are ethical and lawful.
Government Regulation for Rehabs in the Wake of the Opioid Epidemic
64,000 deaths in the United States in 2016 from overdoses was the wakeup call that solidified the need for citizens and the government to intervene into the opioid crisis. Already, the government has taken action against companies that it has found to have either caused or contributed to the deaths. Pharmaceutical companies – once believed to be untouchable by any sort of regulation – are now beginning to be held accountable for their marketing practices, which in some cases pushed addictive opioid drugs to patients who could have been treated with safer alternatives.
With the government going after high profile executives at the top, this should worry anyone and everyone who practiced unethical marketing practices that may have worsened the opioid epidemic. This includes unethical or illegal marketing practices for rehab programs or placement programs that may have contributed to the deaths.
The Crackdown on Deceptive Rehab Marketing Practices Has Already Begun
As of 05/30/2018, the Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee leaders sent out letters to 8 popular call aggregators in their first round of questioning about training and marketing practices that the businesses utilized. You can read more about the committee’s actions HERE: https://energycommerce.house.gov/news/press-release/bipartisan-ec-leaders-question-call-aggregators-about-their-practices-and-reports-of-patient-brokering/
The above letters were sent out to 8 aggregator businesses that were employing the most questionable of practices and were suspected of patient brokering. Patient brokering happens when a prospective patient calls a phone number in search of treatment, and the company receiving that call gathers the personal information of the caller – including insurance information.
The company that accepted the personal information then turns around and sells the information to the highest bidder. All of this happens without the caller knowing that their information has been sold. You can see why this is such a big problem that the government is now investigating.
How Will Investigations and Regulations Affect My Addiction Treatment Program
The biggest thing that you need to ask yourself is, “What marketing practices have my business engaged in?” Do you do your marketing in-house, or outsource marketing efforts to another company? If you outsource your marketing, do you know what practices that company engaged in on behalf of your brand and business? Or did you simply like the SEO and marketing prices that company quoted to you, and didn’t bother to look at the details of what would be done on your behalf?
This is the pitfall that far too many addiction treatment programs and rehab owners and executives have gotten themselves into in the past decade. Cheap SEO and marketing is exactly that, and you get what you pay for.
What Will Change for Rehab Marketing Now that Marketing Practices are Being Investigated?
For years, Addiction Rep has been very upfront and open with the cost of doing SEO the right way – it appears a little more expensive and takes time to be effective, but it is the ethical way of doing things, and we don’t cut corners or resort to deceptive marketing practices but the bottom line is we are actually cheaper in the long run.
Because we have always utilized only ethical marketing practices in our work, nothing really changes for Addiction-Rep and our drug rehab clients – we continue to base our strategies on effective marketing solutions that are legal, do not violate the terms of service for respective platforms, and adhere to our ethical and moral code.
For those companies (both SEO and marketing companies, and drug rehabs that do their own marketing) that run marketing campaigns that were less than ethical or violated laws, terms of service, and were “black hat” in nature, these changes just mean that you:
- Have to change your marketing practices immediately, and only utilize forms of marketing that are ethical and are not at risk of violating laws, ethics, terms of service, and meet the same standards that Addiction-Rep holds. Or…
- Keep using unethical marketing practices under the very real threat of investigations by this committee and/or future actions that the committee decides to take.
Why You Need Addiction-Rep’s Rehab SEO and Marketing Consultants Now
To put it simply, the fact that regulators are eyeing the marketing practices of drug rehabs means that rehab owners need to immediately audit past work, and find out what has been done under the name of your company by past SEO companies are marketing agencies. Once audited, you can see if anything unethical or even illegal was performed on behalf of your rehab brand.
Next, you need to start a campaign of SEO and marketing with a company that you can trust and will do what is best for the long-term success of your brand. All rehabs and businesses online need SEO and marketing to attract customers and continue to do business, so simply stopping all marketing is not an option for rehabs without a strong referral base.
If you are worried that a cut-rate SEO or marketing company may have engaged in unethical or illegal marketing practices in your name, contact Addiction Rep immediately and we will perform an audit of past work. We will also work to minimize the impact of changing marketing strategies so that rankings and customer traffic losses are kept to a minimum, while we build a safe strategy that will benefit your brand long-term.
Now, is the time to reassess your Marketing and SEO Company’s work and look into options that will adhere to existing regulations and any new regulations that are established in the wake of investigations into fraudulent and deceptive behaviors by many that worsened the opioid crisis we are in the midst of.