As a healthcare and business law firm, we have many clients who participate in or wish to participate in pain management clinics. A previous blog post of ours provided an overview of pain management clinics. When it comes to selling a pain management clinic, there are certain questions to consider. This post provides a look into 3 questions to ask when selling your pain management and the answer to those questions. Please note, there are numerous considerations when selling a medical practice that apply to pain management clinics as well, but this post focuses only on pain management considerations. If you have questions regarding this blog post or would like to speak with counsel regarding selling your practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
In 2013, Georgia legislatures enacted House Bill 178 (“HB 178”) known as the Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act. The act requires pain management clinics to obtain a license from the Georgia Medical Board and limits who can own pain management clinics. These requirements add questions when it comes to selling a pain management clinic. The top 3 questions we answer for clients are discussed below.
(1) Do I have to provide notice to the Georgia Medical Board before selling?
Assuming the pain management clinic is appropriately licensed by the Georgia Medical Board, the seller must notify the Board at least ten (10) days prior to the change in ownership. Ga. Rule 360-8-.05(2).
(2) Who can I sell to?
Rule 360-8-.03(2) sets forth basic requirements of the physician owner, which, along with completing the application, require the physician to show he/she can work in the U.S., prove licensure and ownership, submit an NPDB report, pass a background check, present his/her DEA card, etc.
Physicians are ineligible to own a pain management clinic if they have been “denied the privilege of prescribing, dispensing, administering, supplying or selling any controlled substance, or has had board action against his or her medical license as a result of dependency on alcohol or drugs.” Rule 360-8-.02(4). Further, “no person can own a pain management clinic if he or she has been convicted of a felony.” Rule 360-8-.02(5).
Although it does not appear that the following are requirements for initial licensure, when applying for renewal every two years, the physician-owner must also satisfy Rule 360-8-.06’s competency requirements, which include 20 hours of CME pertaining to pain management or palliative care.
(3) Can I transfer my license to the buyer?
Pain management clinic licenses are “non-transferrable so the license immediately becomes void and inactive upon a change in ownership.” Ga. Rule 360-8-.05(2). “A new pain management clinic license must be obtained if there is a change in ownership.” Ga. Rule 360-8-.02(2). Importantly, the buyer should obtain the new license before providing care. See GCMB “Change in Ownership” Application (“It is strongly recommended that you DO NOT practice in a pain clinic or operate a pain management clinic until your Georgia pain management clinic license number has been issued.”).
As for timing, an application for Pain Management Licensure must be completed at least 10 days before the next Board meeting to be considered at the upcoming meeting. “Completion of an application is when all primary source documentation has been received and reviewed, your application has met all administrative screenings, and a final quality assurance review has been completed on your application.” The fee is $500, as of the date of this blog post.
If you have questions regarding this blog post or would like to speak with counsel regarding selling your practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, email@example.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
*Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice.