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Agency Proposes Changes to Close W.Va. Clinic Rule Loopholes

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The Department of Health and Human Resources has proposed changing rules governing West Virginia's pain clinics to close loopholes.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the changes include requiring a pain clinic's physician-owner to have at least a 25 percent ownership stake in the practice.

The existing rules require a "dedicated physician-owner" to have "care and control" of each practice. But there's no minimum ownership stake.

Jolynn Marra with the state Office of Health Facility and Licensure and Certification says the rules' intent was to have an owner invested in the clinic's outcome.

Marra says state officials didn't realize that a Beckley clinic could remedy doctor-ownership issues by selling a 1 percent interest to a doctor who worked there.

Other proposed changes would tighten rules about patient records and care.

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