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Opioid bill looks to fund recovery options, stop kickbacks

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Georgia senators have backed a proposal to expand the services offered to opioid addicts and to go after scammers who make money by referring addicts to substandard rehabilitation centers.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, without objection, passed Sen. Renee Unterman's measure aimed at combatting the opioid crisis.

The Buford Republican's bill would lead to the creation of a commission to further study the epidemic and seek grant money to fund nonprofit recovery programs across Georgia.

The proposal specifically makes it a felony for health care providers or facilities to engage in "patient brokering." Unterman says this practice involves people who earn kickbacks by convincing addicts to enter certain rehabilitation centers that don't have the patient's best interests at heart.

The bill awaits Senate debate.

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