Doctor had pain clinic suspicions

PALM SPRINGS, Fla. - Authorities from the Multiagency Diversion Task Force took away dozens of boxes of medical records and files in suspected pain clinic raids around Palm Beach county.

One of raids took place at the Palm Springs, Total Medical Express pain clinic, which sits next to Dr. Carlos Lira's Medical Specialists of the Palm Beaches, Inc. (MSPB) Medical Center.

"The investigation makes me feel good and bad that we have to go through this turmoil to arrive at a good situation," CEO of MSPB, Manny Fernandez said. "I'd rather it not have occurred and people taking advantage of the system."

Fernandez is happy the patients that were coming to the clinic next door won't come back.

"The way they dress, the going in and out, they don't look like normal people," Dr. Lira said. "They don't look like regular people who see a doctor for regular medical problems."

The business also looked irregular because of the three medical centers in the strip, it was the only one that didn't have a name label on the front of its building.

These type of irregularities reflected badly on business, Dr. Lira said. "People are afraid...all this different population you haven't seen before makes them concerned. It makes me concerned."

Dr. Lira said the problem has been going on for two years and that's when he started to call authorities asking them to step in to see if any illegal activity was going on at the nearby Total Medical Express.

Fernandez said they've lost about 20 to 25 percent of revenue at the MSPB location because of the suspected suspicious activity at the neighboring pain clinic.

"It eats up all of the profit margin associated basically making the doctor work for free," Fernandez said.

But now that this truckload of suspected trouble is being carried away, the medical centers hope the patients they lost will come back.

"You can replace the revenue that you've lost," Fernandez added. "But it's patient safety that's number one."
 

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