Three months after its former CEO was indicted for Medicare fraud, a pain management company with clinics in 12 states is shutting locations throughout Tennessee and beyond.
Comprehensive Pain Specialists has made no public statements saying why or when the closures are occurring, but Tennessean reporters confirmed current or looming closures at more than two dozen clinics.
Journalists called each of the company’s 40 clinics on Tuesday morning and visited a clinic in Murfeesboro, where a sign that read “permanently closed” had been taped to the door. Fifteen other clinics also confirmed they were closing this month. Another 11 clinics had phone calls forwarded to a voicemail messages saying they were closed. Employees at the remaining 13 clinics either declined comment, didn’t answer their phones or said the clinic was transferring to another company.
The company has 21 clinics in Tennessee, none of which said they would remain open. Two clinic employees said the company was closing all clinics by the end of the month, but insisted they were not permitted to make statements about the closures.
Comprehensive Pain Management, also known as Anesthesia Services Associates, is headquartered in Middle Tennessee and employs about 250 medical professionals, according to federal court documents. Kaiser Health News has identified the company as the largest pain-treatment practice in the Southeast.
Until last summer, the company was run by CEO John Davis, who had led Comprehensive Pain Management since 2011. In April, Davis was indicted for Medicare fraud, accused of receiving $770,000 in bribes from the head of another company. Davis allegedly took the money from Brenda Montgomery, the CEO of CCC Medical, Inc. He then allegedly referred her patients, which she could use to file tainted claims for Medicare reimbursement, according to federal court records.
Prosecutors allege in court records that Davis disguised some of the bribes by selling Montgomery a sham company, ProMed Solutions, which had “no business operations, facilities, property, employees or assets.” Davis paid $150,000.
Davis, 40, of Brentwood, and Montgomery, 70, of Camden, have both pleaded not guilty in federal court. Montgomery also was charged last month in a separate but similar case where she was accused of paying more than $1.2 million in bribes.
“Our Medicare program is designed to help those who are most vulnerable and in need of medical services and equipment,” said John Cronan, acting assistant attorney general, in a news release announcing the charges. “Stealing funds from our health care system places the vulnerable at greater risk and diverts public funds into the pockets of the greedy individuals who exploit those with the greatest need.
Davis’ attorney, Kim Hodde, did not respond to a request for comment.
Comprehensive Pain Specialists drew further criticism last year after Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health-oriented newsroom, identified the company as one of the nation’s top Medicare billers for urine drug testing, making millions in tax dollars off tests that were only questionably necessary and could have been done by cheaper methods.
Comprehensive Pain Specialists was founded in 2005 by four doctors, including current CEO Dr. Peter Kroll and state Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, an anesthesiologist. Dickerson is still listed as an employee on the company website. He has not responded to requests for comment at his office, on his cell phone or by email.
By calling clinics directly, The Tennessean has confirmed the following Comprehensive Pain Management clinics are closing by the end of this month:
- Athens, Tennessee
- Camden, Tennessee
- Centennial, Tennessee
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Cincinatti, Ohio
- Clarksville, Tennessee
- Columbia, Tennessee
- Dickson, Tennessee
- Gallatin, Tennessee
- Jonesboro, Arkansas
- Two clinics in Lexington, Kentucky
- Paragould, Arkansas
- Fishers, Indiana
- Maryville, Tennessee
- Oak Ridge, Tennessee
At the following clinics, phone calls were forwarded to voicemail messages that said the clinics were closed. According to their websites, these clinics would normally be open at this time.
- Barlett, Tennessee
- Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Cleveland, Tennessee
- Dickson, Tennessee
- Elkin, North Carolina
- Jerseyville, Illinois
- McComb, Mississippi
- Skyline, Tennessee
- Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
- Jackson, Tennessee
Employees at several other clinics said they could not comment on whether or not they were closing and routed all questions to the company’s corporate officer. However, calls were not answered by the company’s public relations department or corporate offices.
Brett Kelman is the health care reporter for The Tennessean. He can be reached at 615-259-8287 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @brettkelman.
On – 03 Jul, 2018 By Brett Kelman