Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Public safety

Spring Hill pain clinic closes after inspection

SPRING HILL — One pain management clinic has closed and two others are on notice after recent inspections by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's vice and narcotics unit inspected all 11 of the county's registered clinics between Jan. 29 and Feb. 12, the Sheriff's Office said Friday. Eight of them passed.

One of the three that failed, Cosmopolitan Clinic in Spring Hill, was operating without a listed doctor. The clinic, at 13111 Spring Hill Drive, also failed to place a county license number on prescriptions, investigators said.

The report will be sent to Hernando County code enforcement for review. The clinic will not be able to reopen until the operators obtain a doctor and apply for a new license.

The clinic's former doctor, Dennis Varel, died Jan. 10 of an apparent drug overdose, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said last week.

On Feb. 7, Citrus officials shut down a Crystal River clinic that Varel and another doctor had opened last year. Varel and Dr. Daniel McIntire never registered Central Clinic with the state, investigators said.

The clinic, which deputies had been investigating for about a year, had dispensed 1.5 million narcotic pills since it opened, Citrus authorities said, with an estimated street value of more than $12 million.

McIntire was arrested and charged with two counts of trafficking in the painkiller oxycodone.

Dr. Ahmed's General Practice Pain and Injury Clinic in Spring Hill violated three sections of the county's ordinance, according to the Hernando Sheriff's Office. The clinic, at 12080 Cortez Blvd., accepted only cash for all services rendered, failed to properly display its permit and did not place a county license number on prescriptions issued at the office, authorities said.

Dr. Nasim Ahmed was given a notice to appear in court for the first two misdemeanor violations. The third violation will be reviewed, along with the rest of the charges, by code enforcement officials, who could revoke the clinic's license.

Ahmed was previously warned for failing to place a license number on prescriptions, the Sheriff's Office said.

Florida Medical Pain Management, at 5270 Applegate Drive in Spring Hill, also failed its inspection for not placing a county license number on prescriptions, authorities said. The clinic, whose listed doctor is Jose Rivera, was issued a warning, and code enforcement officials will review the report.

Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow him on Twitter @TMarreroTimes.

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