March 27, 2012
March 5, 2012(Key vote)
Title: Regulation of Pain Management Clinics
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that establishes new restrictions on pain management clinics.
Requires all pain management clinics to be owned by a physician licensed in the State of Georgia (Sec. 2).
Defines “pain management clinics” as places of medical practice that (Sec. 2):
Advertise the treatment of pain;
Use “pain” in the name of the clinic; or
Treat 50 percent or more of its patients for chronic pain with controlled substances.
Defines “chronic pain” as physical pain treated for a period of 90 days or more in a year, but does not include pain immediately preceding or following a surgery (Sec. 2).
Specifies that a person who operates an unlicensed pain management clinic is guilty of a felony (Sec. 2).
Exempts pain management clinics that were in existence prior to June 30, 2012, from the requirement to be owned by a physician, and authorizes the ownership of such clinics by physician assistants or registered nurses (Sec. 2).
Authorizes law enforcement officers and coroners to send notice and evidence to the Georgia Composite Medical Board upon discovering a death that may be a result of medication prescribed at a pain management clinic or a procedure performed at a pain management clinic (Secs. 2 & 3).
Expands the authority of the Georgia Composite Medical Board to regulate pain management clinics through the following mechanisms (Secs. 1 & 2):
Licensing pain management clinics;
Establishing minimum standards for prescribing pain killers; and
Establishing minimum standards for continuing education for physicians owning or working in a pain management clinic.