Medicare Payment Suspension Lifted, Alabama Pain Center to Remain Open

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - After ongoing difficulties with Medicare, Alabama Pain Center has received news that the suspension of Medicare payments to the clinic has been lifted, according to a press release.

Had the suspension of Medicare payments not been lifted, the clinic could have closed its doors on November 15, placing approximately 2,700 patients without a care provider and 124 staff members without jobs.

“This is huge. It means so much to our patients, their families and our staff. The prospect of losing our ability to care for our family of patients has been heartbreaking and has required great faith in recent weeks," said Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Alabama Pain Center Dr. Dean Willis.

The suspension of Medicare payments was the result of an audit of the clinic that has been ongoing since January.   In late August, the independent company performing the audit, AdvanceMed, chose to continue the audit and suspend all Medicare payments to the clinic while the review continued.

"I cannot begin to express my appreciation to each of the patients, staff and referring physicians who took the time to make sure their voices were heard in Washington. The Alabama Pain Center was rescued in its final hour and in the face of insurmountable odds because of our dedication to serve patients with excellence and integrity, our trust that reason and justice would prevail and through the grace of God himself," Willis said.

Alabama Pain Center held a standing room only a meeting about the possible closure of the clinic on October 15.  More than 1,000 patients and their family members attended the meeting.  A petition to keep the Alabama Pain Center open generated more than 1,000 signatures in ten days, too.

"I don’t understand how they can deny us, all of us, our medications," said patient Pat Brunker.  "And I don’t know where to go.   I don’t know what will happen to us if he shuts his doors."

The review by AdvanceMed will continue, but the clinic will be able to continue operating, according to the press release.  All but one claim against Alabama Pain Center was dropped earlier this month.

"I want to thank CMS/Medicare for focusing on our patients and the vital care we provide to them." said Dr. Willis. "I applaud them for their efforts to stop fraud, waste and abuse and look forward to working with them to resolve the one remaining issue."


  • Michael Kewl

    And what has changedAdvanceMed’s conclusions other than common sense and that ‘other’ political forces were told to “back-off” closing the Alabama Pain Center???

    Thanks to whoever that has saved many a patient’s life by “backing off” the APC!!!!

  • kevin

    thank God! apc has helped me more than anyone will know. Before i found the drs at apc i thought i would have to go on dissability ,but now i am able to work and lead a normal life again thanks to their help. keep up the good work apc. truly compassionate staff they do help you get your life back!

  • debo

    This is an answer to prayer! APC is different from other pain centers I have been to in that they treat you as a person – not as a patient or a number – they really care about you. They do not just push pills or automatically try to push a pain pump on you either – they try every approach including physical therapy and counseling classes. When you enter the doors, you know that YOU are their number one concern! You feel like a part of a big family. I just pray that this last ridiculous charge will be dropped soon. Dr. Willis is a Christian and highly professional man who would not do anything – knowingly – wrong to jeopardize his patients or his practice!!!
    THANK YOU CMS for lifting the suspension!!!

  • Laura Thompson

    Thank you Jesus! Before I was bless with being sent to Alabama Pain Center I was going to a pain doctor who had me so over medcaied that I am bless to be alive my mother said she was so scared that I was going to go to sleep and not wakeup but now that I am going to Alabama Pain Center I have my life back its so nice to have doctors that you can trust and they treat me and my pain. I and my husband have learned so much and the care you are given is the best, everyone is helpful and nice and careing. God bless you all at ALABAMA PAIN CENTER . Thank you Laura Thompson.

  • crazyasafoxki

    the lord knows whats best. this is a blessing for a lot of people. a lot of people don`t understand the great work the pain center does for people

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