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Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 3:37am

House Approves Pain Clinic Rules

The Georgia House of Representatives has approved a proposal that calls for the state to license and regulate businesses that call themselves pain management clinics.

House Bill 178 is a response to a flood of so-called 'pill mills' that are credited with feeding prescription drug abuse. The 150-15 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where similar legislation died last year.

A pain clinic is defined in the bill as a practice where at least half of the patient population is being treated for chronic pain. Those businesses would have to get a state license beginning in July. Licenses would have to be renewed every two years.

More significantly, the proposal would require that all new pain clinics be owned by physicians.