Pain clinics in Florida have become big business over the last few years. Billboards and other advertisements for pain clinics have popped up all over Florida. However, along with their recent popularity, scrutiny by law enforcement has followed. Local, state and federal police and law enforcement agencies have spent a lot of time investigating pain clinics and arresting anyone and everyone they feel is involved in pain clinics that are not following the laws in Florida. Primarily, they are focusing on the pain clinics where they allege the facility is just giving numerous pain pills to people in assembly line fashion without conducting the proper examinations and diagnosis procedures. Police allege these patients are then abusing the pain pills and/or selling them on the street for a significant profit.
We have been involved with individuals, and represented clients, from various pain clinics in Florida ranging from the regular employees to doctors conducting examinations to the owners of the pain clinics. When law enforcement goes after a pain clinic, they typically arrest people at all levels of affiliation with the pain clinic.
There are, of course, legitimate pain clinics that provide a valuable and necessary service to people in need of treatment and pain medication who may not be fortunate enough to have good health insurance policies. However, as the police focus more and more on pain clinics of all types, some of the good pain clinics and many of the innocent people involved with them may get pulled into a police investigation and face criminal prosecution.
Additionally, the Florida legislature has taken steps to regulate pain clinics. This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the rules governing pain clinics are as follows. Privately owned pain clinics must register with the Florida Department of Health. The pain clinic must designate a fully licensed physician(s) who practices at each pain clinic facility who is responsible for that particular facility. The pain clinics must notify the Department of Health of any changes with the facility including location, name, ownership and responsible physician. A registration number is assigned for each pain clinic. Each pain clinic location must be registered.
In the past, a pain clinic could be owned by just about anyone. However, the laws have changed, and now a licensed physician(s) must own the pain clinic.
Reasons the Department of Health will deny or revoke a pain clinic’s license include: if the physician owner or physician working at the pain clinic loses his/her DEA number or license to prescribe a controlled substance or if the physician owner or physician who works at the clinic gets convicted or pleads guilty or no contest to a felony charge involving the receipt of illegal drugs.
I you have any questions about owning or operating a pain clinic or a criminal investigation or arrest relating to a pain clinic, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.