Impact of New State Law Being Felt By Pain Clinics

Impact of New State Law Being Felt By Pain Clinics

2/24/2011

The effects of a new law in Florida that limits who can own pain clinics is starting to be felt by the pain management industry. The law is part of measures to prevent unscrupulous operators that are notoriously famous for distributing large amounts of prescription drugs.

Based on state health records, more than thirty pain clinics either have already had their licenses revoked or have ceased operations since the law, which took effect in October last year, was enforced by state officials.

Supporters commended the actions as a good development in the efforts to curtail an epidemic of prescription drug deaths. Nevertheless, the impact of the enforcement in the long-term remains uncertain. Many are also frustrated that other vital reforms have been set aside by long delays.

On the part of legitimate pain clinic owners, they say that while the law may potentially solve the prescription drug crisis, it can also hinder patients with real pain problems from getting their required medication.

Paul Sloan, the president of the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers, said, “This was the Wild, Wild West. It was a completely unregulated field and everything was just out of control.” He also said, “We’ve gone from being completely unregulated to being completely over regulated.” Sloan also owns pain clinics based in Venice and Fort Myers.

Since September, state health officials have already sent letters to over 200 pain clinics, warning them that they are in danger of losing their licenses.

According to Greg Giordano, of the 200 clinics that received these letters, records show that three dozen have already ceased operation or have lost their licenses. Giordano is state Sen. Mike Fasano’s chief legislative assistant, who is a Republican from New Port Richey and sponsor of the law.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com