Portsmouth City Council passed an ordinance in March that regulates pain clinics. It calls for increased regulation of existing pain clinics, which are required to apply with the city health department and be affiliated with a hospital or accredited college or university, among other restrictions.
As of Tuesday, no pain clinics had been approved, said Peggy Burton, Portsmouth City Health Commissioner.
“They have to apply for a permit to operate a pain management clinic,” Burton said.
Burton said she had recently received an application from attorney Steven Hillman, representing Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management LLC and Portsmouth Medical Solutions LLC, the two pain clinics that had been operating in Portsmouth.
“He has submitted the applications and they are incomplete. He only filled out the name and address of the clinic and that’s it. He did not put any of the other information asked for on the application,” Burton said. “He sent a letter to say a long list of things, basically that we (city of Portsmouth) lack the constitutional authority to require these facilities to apply to the health department.”
Hillman, on behalf of the two pain management clinics, has been the only person to apply for the application.
“They have 30 days from the date I receive the application for them to be licensed. However, I would not act on this application because it is not completed. I do not consider this an application because it’s incomplete and they have paid no fee,” Burton said.
Burton said she will send Hillman a letter stating that because of an incomplete application and lack of payment of the fee, she cannot proceed with licensing those clinics.
Roberts said neither pain clinic appeared to be open.
“I went by (Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management LLC and Portsmouth Medical Solutions LLC) this morning, and neither one is open. We’ll have to continue to watch and see. As of this morning there were no employees parked where they typically park, there were no patients.”
In April, Hillman filed for an injunction, asking the courts to delay implementation of the ordinance until higher courts determine the constitutionality of the ordinance. Visiting Judge Charles Cooper denied Hillman’s request for an injunction.
A trial has been set for June 14-16 to determine the constitutionality of the ordinance.
Hillman said in April that he believes the job of regulating pain clinics, pharmacies and doctors’ offices belongs with the state of Ohio and not with any local municipality.
“The state is doing it and the state is supposed to do it,” Hillman said. “And the city is not allowed to.”
Since then, Gov. John Kasich has signed House Bill 93, intended to regulate pain clinics statewide.
WAYNE ALLEN may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.