Pain clinics in Texas skirting law by calling themselves ‘wellness’ or ‘rehab’ facilities

Calling themselves rehabilitation or wellness clinics is the latest way operators of pill mills are skirting the law in Texas, which requires pain management clinics to register and be inspected by the state medical board. The issue is one to consider as legislators look at ways to curb prescription pill abuse in Kentucky in the 2012 legislative session, which started today.

One doctor in Santa Fe, Tex., labeled his facility a “family practice” instead of a pain clinic. “But investigators said his office had no stethoscopes or blood pressure cuffs and only a single thermometer,” reports Cindy Horswell of the Houston Chronicle. “His records indicated he dispensed hundreds of thousands of highly addictive pills to known drug abusers, the Texas Medical Board said before suspending the doctor’s medical license in March.”
In Kentucky, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, has pre-filed a bill that would require background checks for people planning to open pain clinics, prohibit convicted felons from running them, and require that a physician in such a clinic own part of it. (Read more)
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