Tennessee Tries to Get a Handle on Pain Clinics

Jul 30, 2012

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Health has issued licenses to 255 pain clinics since a new law took effect on Jan. 1 requiring the step.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that there are another 20 applications being reviewed, while 19 have been rejected.

The law imposes regulations on pain management clinics in an effort to crack down on so-called pill mills. In addition to licenses, the new regulations outlaw cash payments for treatment and require licensed physicians to be present in the clinic at least 20 percent of the time.

In an examination of licenses, the newspaper found the highest concentration of clinics was in the Northeast corner of the state and among rural counties of the Cumberland Plateau. It also found that some doctors serve as medical directors to as many as 11 clinics.