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.