Clinic facilities

Columbus, GA Pain Clinic Pays $1 Million for Medication Records



A Columbus pain clinic has agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty over allegations it failed to keep records related to medications and other health services, federal authorities said Thursday. .

Dr. Kenneth Barngrover and his practice at the South East Regional Pain Center will have to pay the fine under an agreement with the Drug Enforcement Agency to resolve alleged violations of the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act , according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Peter Leary. .

According to the charges, Barngrover was registered with the DEA to operate a workers’ compensation pharmacy that dispensed controlled substances. The pharmacy failed to maintain a biannual inventory or keep up-to-date and accurate drug records, and it collected drugs without DEA authorization and proper documentation, according to a statement.

The federal government also claimed that Barngrover violated the False Claims Act by charging Medicare and Tricare programs for unnecessary assessments and services, as well as psychological testing that was not provided appropriately.

“If providers want to operate like a pharmacy and dispense drugs to their patients, they must act like a pharmacy and keep accurate records of highly addictive and dangerous drugs,” Leary said in the press release. Healthcare professionals providing such services “must adhere to federal guidelines put in place for the protection of our citizens,” he added.

Barngrover’s agreement with the DEA has been in effect for three years and resolves the charges with no specific finding of liability, authorities said.

The Controlled Substances Act requires strict inventory control and record keeping of regulated drugs from purchase to delivery, and the False Claims Act imposes civil liability on anyone who falsely requests payment from the federal government. .

Tim Chitwood is from Seale, Alabama, and started as a police reporter with the Ledger-Enquirer in 1982. Since then, he has covered serial murders and other Columbus homicides, following some from the crime scene to to the verdicts of the trial and subsequent appeals. He has also been a humor columnist for Ledger-Enquirer since 1987. He graduated from Auburn University and started working for the weekly Phenix Citizen in Phenix City, Ala.