Dozens of Tennessee pain clinics to close this month

(WSMV file photo)

Hundreds of Tennesseans are scrambling to find another doctor and hundreds more are looking for a new job.

A pain clinic with nearly 30 locations in Tennessee is closing its doors for good.

For people with chronic pain, this is devastating.

Many of them are on pain pills, and with the opioid crisis running rampant, they say it’s even harder than ever to establish trust.

Michelle Mathis has tried it all from acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy and even a diet overhaul.

Nothing worked for her migraines.

“I have had surgery four times,” Mathis said.

The operations left Mathis with scars and chronic pain.

“Before I was able to get help for my pain I had no life,” Mathis said.

After years with Comprehensive Pain Specialists, Mathis said she was able to get on a regimen that worked for her.

“They knew me. They trusted me,” Mathis explained.

Her clinic is closing for good this month.

It's one of the 29 casualties in a reported $4.6 million Medicare kickback scheme orchestrated by the CEO.

That CEO is being charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, but it’s the patients and employees who feel like they're being punished.

“It’s probably thousands of people. Dear God, what is going to happen to them?” Mathis said.

Starting over at a new facility isn't easy. It can take months to get in to see a doctor, and even longer establish a relationship, especially now at the height of the opioid epidemic.

"That is the one thing that scares me is not being trusted," Mathis said. "I don't take medication to get high. I take medication to be normal."

News4 talked called the Nashville location and spoke to an employee over the phone.

She encouraged patients to get in touch with their insurance provider to explore options.

Employees also just learned about the closure Monday.

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