Florida pain clinics to face stronger regulation

Last week both the Florida House and Senate unanimously approved SB 2272, known as the Pill Mill Bill which adds stronger prohibitions to previous legislation related to regulating pain management clinics here. Up until now loose rules in the state have drawn less than reputable doctors and non-doctors to open more storefront clinics selling potentially addicting controlled substances for pain than elsewhere in the country. SB 2272 should help to weed out the criminal element.

For example, now all such clinics will need to be registered with the Florida Department of Health (DOH), must be owned by a licensed physician (no convicted felons) or is licensed as a health care clinic and must undergo annual inspections by DOH.

The bill also prohibit physicians in these clinics to advertise or promote the use, sale or dispensing of a controlled substance. When patients pay by cash, check or credit card without insurance, physicians will not be able to dispense more than a 72-hour supply of any controlled substance.

Effective July 1, 2012, all physicians practicing in pain-management clinics will be required to have completed a pain medicine fellowship or residency, or be recognized as a specialist in pain by the appropriate licensing board.

With the state legilatures passage, the bill only needs Governor Crists signature to become law.