Pain clinics to sue over pill mill bill if it becomes lawby Dara Kam | May 5th, 2010
An association of the state’s pain clinics vowed to sue over the “pill mill” legislation not yet sent to Gov. Charlie Crist.
Lawmakers passed the measure to rein in the pain clinics proliferating throughout South Florida and spreading across the state.
The new legislation requires FBI background screenings for pain clinic owners and bans felons and doctors not in good standing from ownership. The Palm Beach Post reported that some clinic owners are felons convicted of drug smuggling and other drug-related crimes.
The measure discriminates against the pain clinics by barring patients without health insurance from purchasing their pain peds from the clinics, the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers said in a press release. The bill (SB 2272) requires that patients without insurance have their prescriptions filled at pharmacies where they could pay with cash, credit card or check. The bill prohibits pain clinics from accepting those types of payment.
The association supports the portion of the bill requiring that the clinics be registered and licensed.
But the insurance-only provision would adversely affect the state’s poorest patients because the drugs typically cost more at pharmacies, clinic owner Paul Sloan, head of the association, said in a press release.
The measure contradicts Florida’s Patient Bill of Rights law which directs providers to treat patients without regard to the form of payment, Sloan said.
The insurance-only requirement for pain management clinics “has no rational basis” and the association will immediately sue if the bill becomes law, the release said.