More than most other industries, healthcare professionals and marketers are ethically responsible for the way they present and perform their services. Healthcare customers — patients and clients — trust their providers to recommend options that make sense for them, relying on providers’ medical expertise to guide them through treatment rather than selecting their own preferences. It’s vital to maintain this trust by providing honest service that doesn’t include superfluous or repetitive treatments — but as a provider or a marketer, it is also vital to sell your services and attract new customers. The ethical dilemma here is clear: there must be a balance between making your practice’s offerings competitive, without selling clients treatments that aren’t right for them.

But a second ethical dilemma can arise from this first one. When marketers or practices are compensated for selling certain treatments — e.g., meeting sales quotas or working on commission — it can create an unethical incentive to provide services that aren’t necessary or that don’t make sense for a particular patient. Medical marketing compensation must, therefore, be carefully considered to ensure that policies aren’t creating an environment that takes advantage of clients’ trust or violates patients’ rights. This can be particularly true in the realm of addiction and behavioral health treatment, where care often includes a variety of services that must be carefully selected and tailored to each patient for best results.

About the Course

In this course, supported by the Behavioral Health Association of Providers, we will examine fundamental compensation ethics questions, such as, “What are ethical compensation practices in healthcare marketing?” and “Why are they so important?” Under the guidance of legal and industry experts, you will explore legal and ethical best practices related to contracts and client rights, compensation of marketers, and call centers and lead generation. We will also consider how to avoid common compensation pitfalls, such as fraud and abuse, exploitation, inducements, brokering, and kickbacks.

This course qualifies as one of six courses in the Certificate in Addiction Treatment Marketing (C-ATM) certification. (Note that 36 hours are required for certification, which can be completed online.)

Level of Instruction: Introductory/Intermediate

Meet the Experts

Kristina Sherry, Esq.

Kristina Sherry is a practicing healthcare lawyer at Nelson Hardiman, a health and sciences law firm based in Los Angeles, California. As a member of Nelson Hardiman’s Transactional and Compliance practice groups, Kristina represents a diverse array of healthcare providers. She advises hospitals, physician organizations, long-term and behavioral care providers and other healthcare-related organizations in transactions and regulatory matters.

Kristina’s experience also includes multi-business formations, complex mergers and acquisitions, drafting and reviewing concierge membership agreements, and employment contracts for healthcare providers. Before joining the firm, she gained invaluable litigation experience representing employers and employees in labor and employment disputes.

Andrew Martin, MBA, LAADC

Andrew Martin is the Chief Operating Officer at American Addiction Treatment Association, a national trade association that provides regulatory and compliance resources to addiction treatment professionals.

Andrew’s extensive experience in the addiction treatment industry dates back to 2005 and includes founding and operating Serene Scene Magazine, a monthly magazine with a circulation approaching 30,000 subscribers. He also launched The Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference, which delivered high-level learning to addiction treatment professionals; developed, a directory of addiction treatment resources and information for the United States and Canada; and spearheaded Serene Center, a 36-bed transitional sober living and outpatient treatment facility for those in early recovery.


The 2018 Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders takes place in Hyannis, Massachusetts from September 13th through 16th. This year’s agenda includes workshops, lectures, courses and special events that focus on a variety of topics relevant to the addiction treatment industry, from breakthroughs in care modalities to best practices for managers and administrators. To learn more about our 2018 offerings, review our full agenda and course lists. Registration is now open for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.

  • CCSAD provided a professional opportunity to connect with positive and ethical peers.

  • Wonderful turnout of participants and great opportunity for networking and securing new relationships. Thanks for another great year!

  • It was a pleasure to be a Platinum sponsor at such a well-respected event.

  • I have attended CCSAD for many years now and find it is fantastic every year. I always take something wonderful away and learn a great deal.

  • This symposium is by far the best around. I have attended many others and they were wonderful, but CCSAD is outstanding.

  • THANK YOU that CCSAD is the MOST multidisciplinary conference for Addiction Medicine professionals.

  • Thank you for continuing and expanding this program as well as making it an opportunity for a supportive break from a very busy and demanding profession.

  • The conference is always wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoy attending not just for the learning experience but also for the new friends I have met in past and present attendance.

  • I especially VALUE that CCSAD is the primary multidisciplinary conference for practicing clinicians and policy-makers, where integrative care management is so clearly shown to be in our patients' best interests.

  • This Symposium always gives me new insights and perspectives re: addiction and conditions for treatment strategies. I always learn something new and am always eager to pass it on.

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