Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Regulations Coming to Seminole County Pain Management Clinics

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Seminole County, Florida, is the latest county to adopt tightened regulations for pain management clinics. On November 13, 2012, County Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the ordinance enacting Chapter 186 of the Seminole County Code to establish regulations regarding pain management clinics.
Click here to read the entire Seminole County ordinance.
County Commissioners hope these new regulations will aid law enforcement in fighting illegal pill mill operations in Florida.

Restrictions to Prevent Overprescribing.

The ordinance requires clinics to get a license, produce monthly reports on how many prescriptions are issued for controlled substances and report patient information, such as a patient’s address. This only applies to practices where doctors issue prescriptions for painkillers such as oxycodone to more than 20 patients a day. It does not pertain to hospitals and other major medical facilities.
Anyone violating the regulations can be charged with a misdemeanor and lose his or her business license.

Some Physicians Not Happy.
The Orlando Sentinel interviewed a Boca Raton doctor who specializes in pain management. The doctor reportedly believes the regulations are helping to curb drug overdoses, but stated the regulations also limit legitimate board-certified medical specialists. He believes many Florida doctors are ready to move out of the Sunshine State and go to another state with fewer regulations.
To read the Orlando Sentinel article, click here.

Another Counties Putting Restrictions in Place.
At the end of October 2012, Osceola County Commissioners voted to adopt a similar ordinance. I wrote previously wrote about that story, click here to read that blog.
In addition to Osceola County, Winter Park, Sanford, Oviedo and Maitland have opted to enact ordinances that regulate pain management clinics’ location and operation.

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 The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, pain management doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.


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As a healthcare professional, what do you think of this ordinance? Have you thought about leaving Florida due to the new regulations? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Comas, Martin. “Seminole Tightens Regulations for Pain Management Clinics.” Orlando Sentinel. (November 13, 2012). From: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/seminole/os-pain-management-clinics-seminole-20121112,0,7626282.story

Seminole County Government. “Ordinance Chapter 186.” Seminole County Government. (November 13, 2012). From: http://www.thehealthlawfirm.com/uploads/Pain%20Management%20Ordinance.pdf

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

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