What hurts more: chronic pain or not being able to receive treatment for it?
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 366 is being recommended for passage. This bill defines a “pain clinic” as a place that treats chronic pain, pain lasting longer than 3 months, even if the clinic does not dispense narcotics or other prescription drugs. Spine and sports medicine clinics which perform injections for nerve pain would fall under the cash ban. A pain clinic must be run by a licensed physician in good standing and may not dispense prescription drugs unless they are licensed as a pharmacy.
The bill also bans cash as an acceptable form of payment, unless the patient is insured and then only for a co-payment or deductible. Acceptable payment for uninsured patients would include a credit card or check – but not cash. The good intentions of stopping “pill mills” could prevent uninsured or out-of-network insured patients from receiving the medical care that they need.
The penalty for pain clinics violating the established criteria would result in the suspension or revoking of their operating certificate and possibly a fine of $1000 per day of continued violation. The original version of Bill 366 did not contain the cash ban or the broad definition of “pain clinic”.
“Wisconsin Bill to BAN Cash Payment.” What’s New. Association of Physicians & Surgeons, 24 Oct 2015. Web. 25 Oct 2015.
“ASSEMBLY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1, TO ASSEMBLY BILL 366.” Amendments. Wisconsin State Legislature, 21 Oct 2015. Web. 25 Oct 2015.