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State begins pain clinic certification process

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) has begun the process to certify the state’s pain clinics—a requirement enacted into law earlier this year as part of Rep. John Nygren’s Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE) package. Under the new law, a pain clinic (as defined in the new statute), unless specifically exempted, must apply to DHS for a certificate of operation. Click here for DHS’s special pain clinic certification page for more details on compliance with this new law.

The new law is designed to gather information about the number of pain clinics in the state. DHS sent this letter to almost 8,000 e-mail addresses in an attempt to cast as wide a net as possible for those that might fall under the new pain clinic definition and therefore need certification. The department estimates that there will be fewer than 200 entities that fall under the new requirements.

Also now required under 2015 Act 265:

  • Pain clinics may only accept payments that are “traceable,” such as credit cards, check, etc. See section 5 of the Act for exact language.
  • Pain clinics may not directly dispense a monitored prescription drug that is taken orally. (There is an exception for worker’s compensation-related care.)

For more information, contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs Department.

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