What is LegitScript certification, and why do I need it?
Back in September 2017, we got word from Google that AdWords advertising for the addiction treatment industry was halted while a new verification process was implemented. This was done with the intent of weeding out false advertisers – those who earned undisclosed referral fees from addiction centers, but didn’t provide recovery services themselves.
Today, that verification process is in place. Google has partnered with LegitScript to provide the only certification service for drug and alcohol treatment providers. Getting their seal of approval reduces the chance that your advertising will be disrupted and differentiates your services from competitors (not to mention those sketchy lead farms mentioned above).
Now that you’re up to speed on the history and importance of LegitScript certification, read on for a condensed list of their requirements. Glance over the items listed below to get an idea of what you’ll need to have before submitting your treatment center for approval. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive rundown, just an idea of what you’ll need to get started – you can read more about the full application process and requirements on LegitScript’s official website.
The LegitScript Application Checklist
Are you where you say you are?
- Register as a corporate entity (ex: an LLC) in the area where you claim to offer services.
- Provide documents proving ownership or lease agreement (for MSGs: permission to use) to confirm physical location.
- In general, privately owned (“recovery”) residences will not be eligible for certification.
Are you licensed?
- Adhere to state legal and regulatory licensing requirements for addiction treatment facilities.
- Adhere to licensing requirements for all other services you offer.
Is your domain registration public?
- Make sure your domain name does not have privacy protection.
- Provide a list of all domain names and websites under your control.
Have you checked your content?
- Display your physical address(es) where services are rendered, and what the nature of those services is.
Do you have written policies and procedures?
- Provide a list of written policies + procedures demonstrating commitment to best practices, effective recovery, and continuous improvement.
- List the actual treatment or intervention services offered or recommended by the program.
Is your team qualified?
- Provide resumes for business owner, business leadership, and treatment professionals on staff. Must demonstrate expertise and training in addiction treatment.
- Do you have a medical director and/or a clinical psychologist with addiction training on staff?
Do you have a professional setting?
- Addiction facility must be in a professional (business), not residential, setting, as must other addiction treatment settings to which patients are referred.
Will you agree to a background check?
- Applicant + key staff must submit to criminal background checks.
- Disclose any prior criminal, regulatory, or civil violations.
- Disclose any litigation commenced, resolved, or otherwise addressed that involves applicant over the past 10 years.
- Neither applicant nor any other business under applicant’s current or former control may have been listed on HHS’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities within the last five years.
Are you ready to disclose all your facilities?
- Disclose all physical properties and corporate entities under applicant’s control and/or to which it refers patients.
- All such properties must also adhere to these standards.
Do you have insurance?
- Maintain + provide proof of insurance to operate an addiction treatment facility or service.
Are you compliant with HIPAA and other privacy provisions?
- Comply with all provisions of applicable laws and regulations, including HIPAA.
Are your business practices legit?
- None of your businesses may engage in practices (or extend offers) that may deceive or defraud patients in any way, including but not limited to any material detail about the facility.
What types of medicines do you prescribe, if any?
- You may not use or recommend any drugs not approved by the FDA for their purpose. You may not rely on miracle cures, designer drugs, unapproved drugs, or other products such as Kratom or Ayahuasca (refer to LegitScript’s “Red Flag” list).
Do you offer incentives?
- Disclose all incentives offered to patients to use your services. Applicants that offer incentives (ex: offering to pay for travel) will not be eligible for approval.
Will you be fully transparent?
- If you fail to provide full and accurate information as requested, you will be denied. You may undertake reasonable remedial action during the certification process without penalty.
Do you work with lead generators?
- Any co-ownership or affiliation with lead generators is prohibited. Any affiliation with a lead generator may be grounds for immediate denial.
Are you advertising without the proper certification?
- Applicants advertising on Facebook or Google without LegitScript certification are presumed to be attempting to circumvent the goals of the LegitScript certification program. This may be grounds for denial.
Do you consent to on-site inspections?
- You agree that LegitScript may conduct on-site inspections of your facility(ies) and you will in no way restrict this access.
That’s a wrap!
We hope this checklist will be helpful in your quest for LegitScript certification. Feel free to reach out by phone or email with any questions you may have – the Webconsuls team is always happy to talk digital strategy for your treatment center.