Suburban Lake Worth doc accused of running unlicensed pain clinic from home

SUBURBAN LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A suburban Lake Worth doctor faced a judge this morning after she was arrested for running an unlicensed pain clinic out of her home.

Kristin D. Kerr, 60, was arrested late Tuesday night on three counts of drug trafficking, and one count each of possession of marijuana and operating a nonregistered pain clinic.

This morning, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx reset her court hearing for Thursday so Kerr could have time to contact her attorney.

Agents from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force have been investigating Kerr since October. That was when they received a call from Greenacres Police saying Kerr is prescribing drugs to multiple patients, but only a few of the patients are picking up all of the prescriptions up from the pharmacy, according to a sheriff's probable cause affidavit.

The 28-page affidavit alleges that Kerr was running a cash-only pain clinic out of her suburban Lake Worth home on Donnelly Drive, cluttering the home so much with medical equipment and drugs that agents called her a "hoarder."

Agents spoke with local CVS and Walgreens pharmacists who said that they noticed a pattern where one family member will come to pick up other family members' multiple prescriptions written by Kerr for drugs - including Oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax.

Kerr said the reasons for the prescriptions are "pain management" and "break through pain."

In one case, Kerr wrote 35 prescriptions for a patient over a nine-month period totaling to 3,420 "controlled substance" pills.

Agents repeatedly conducted surveillance of Kerr's home watching patients go in and out.

On March 1, agents interviewed one patient at his West Palm Beach home who told them that he has been a patient of Kerr's for over a year. He was referred to the doctor by his wife's friend, and was seeing Kerr because he didn't have medical insurance.

The patient told agents that he pays Kerr $100 per visit for treating his Lupus disease and kidney problems. He uses the back door of Kerr's home and goes into a room facing the pool, the affidavit says.

The patient said that in a recent past visit, he went to pick up a prescription that was previously written wrong and it was waiting for him in an envelope on the back patio.

On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health did an inspection at Kerr's home and declared it an "unregistered pain management clinic."

Kerr told investigators she treats patients at her home and writes them so many prescriptions at once so they don't need to go back and forth to her home. She said the reason why it's a cash-only business is so she doesn't "have to deal with insurance companies," the affidavit says.

Also Tuesday, Kerr's 22-year-old son, Pierce Kerr, was arrested on a possession of marijuana charge after agents found the drug in his computer room.

According to state health department records, Kerr is a licensed doctor specializing in emergency medicine.

There are no complaints or disciplines on file for Kerr, records show.