A Georgia bill (PDF) requiring pain management clinics to be physician-owned and licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board has passed in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill is intended to “protect the public from criminal activities associated with the illegal distribution of controlled substances” and provide for access to “safe medical care to treat conditions in which the control of pain is an element.” The legislation defines a pain clinic as a medical practice advertising the treatment of pain or a practice at which more than 50% of the patients seen each year are being treated for chronic pain for nonterminal conditions. The bill would require that pain clinics renew licenses biennially. If the bill becomes law, the Board will be authorized to require continuing education for all physicians owning a pain management clinic. Further, individuals convicted of a felony will be prohibited from owning a pain clinic, and the Board may conduct a criminal background check prior to granting licensure for a clinic.