The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic in America. Are your clients involved??
A “pill mill” is a doctor’s office, clinic, or health care facility that routinely conspires in the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances outside the scope of the prevailing standards of medical practice in the community or violates the laws of the state regarding the prescribing or dispensing of controlled prescription drugs.
While legitimate pain-management clinics do exist to serve those with chronic pain or terminal illness, other unscrupulous clinics, called pill mills, merely serve as drug traffickers. Common characteristics of pill mills include: cash-only/no insurance; no appointments; armed guards; little or no medical records; grossly inadequate physical examinations; and large prescription doses of narcotics that exceed the boundaries of acceptable medical care.
The rogue “pill mill” clinics are trying to circumvent a state law that went into effect last year that requires pain management clinics to register and be inspected by the Texas Medical Board if half of their patients receive controlled substances. These clinics are now trying to fly under the radar by branding themselves with new misleading names.
“They call themselves ‘wellness’ or ‘rehabilitation’ clinics,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Sharnett Latimore said, even though most patients come to these clinics to get prescriptions for addictive drugs.
It’s hard to stop rogue clinics that can earn $1 million to $2 million a year,” said Dr. C.M. Schade, the Texas Pain Society director, who is working to strengthen pain clinic regulations. “But I hope the tide will soon be turning as we keep refining and closing the loopholes.”

Ways to help clients avoid the pill mill and contain cost is to provide a concrete plan for either eliminating unnecessary medical treatment or changing medical providers to get the claim back on track. Some options include:

  • Second Opinions
  • Utilization Review
  • Employer Medical Examinations (EME)
  • Independent Medical Examinations/Evaluations (IME)
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)