A representative of Lexington Algiatry pain clinic filed to do business under a new name Friday — two days after a raid by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and a day after the emergency suspension of its doctor's medical license.
Articles of Organization were filed with the Kentucky secretary of state for a business called AccuHealth LLC. AccuHealth's registered address is 1718 Alexandria Drive, Suite 301 — the same address as Lexington Algiatry, a suspected "pill mill" that was the target of a raid by federal officials Wednesday.
An Articles of Organization document and $40 fee are required to be filed with the state before a limited liability company can legally do business.
The document was signed by Aigoul Iplaeva, wife of Warren Gold, 53, of Florida, who owns a local business license for Lexington Algiatry. Iplaeva, 34, also was named on the articles of organization for Lexington Algiatry when they were filed in March 2011. On that document, she was identified as Aigoul Gold.
Warren and Aigoul Gold could not be reached for comment Friday.
Some time between Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon, the clinic's logo was changed from "Lexington Algiatry" to "AccuHealth" on the clinic's Web site. The rest of the Web site appeared to be identical. Signs on the first floor of the business complex on Alexandria Drive also had been altered. Earlier this week the signs said "Lexington Algiatry," but on Friday that name was covered up with marker or black paint.
Dr. Najam Azmat, the physician accused of improperly prescribing powerful prescription painkillers at Lexington Algiatry, was suspended by the state's board of medical licensure Thursday, after it wrapped up a months-long investigation.
The board suspended his license pending a hearing scheduled for June. The board's investigation revealed Azmat improperly prescribed powerful narcotics to patients who paid $250 to $350 for a cursory examination, according to documents released by the board.
Some of those patients had been recruited from out-of-state pill mills, said a report by Louisville pain management physician Jeffrey W. Berg, a consultant on the investigation.
"Dr. Azmat prescribed medications with the knowledge or should have had the knowledge that the medications would likely be used illegally," Berg's report said.
According to the board's order suspending his medical license, Azmat was employed by Gold, who owned the business.
Patients could pay for their appointments only by credit or debit card. That money was wired directly to Gold, who paid Azmat $7,500 a week to see patients, the documents said.
There is no law that prevents someone from opening a pain clinic, even if that person is not a doctor, though several legislative bills were recently filed that would place restrictions on such clinics.
House Bill 4, which was filed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and backed by Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway, would require that owners of pain clinics must be doctors, nurse practitioners or other medical professionals.
Allison Gardner Martin, spokeswoman for Conway, said that across the state, there was a growing trend of pain clinics being owned by "entrepreneurs" rather than doctors. Legitimate clinics are typically owned by hospitals or the doctors who work there.
"Obviously, that's something that is a concern," she said. "That's why the legislation proposed in the House is something ... Conway felt very strongly about, that entrepreneurs shouldn't be in the pain management business."
Gold, who faced charges for operating a pain clinic without a license in Florida, does not have a medical license in Florida or Kentucky. Board officials have said Lexington Algiatry, which was on North Broadway when the investigation began, was owned by someone who is not a doctor.
According to court records in Hillsborough County, Fla., where Gold lives, Gold was charged in 2010 with operating a pain management clinic without a license, a violation of a local ordinance.
Kristen Serafin, the Florida state attorney who prosecuted the case, said Gold pleaded no contest to the charge in September of last year and was granted a "withhold of adjudication," a Florida disposition that means he was not formally convicted, though he was still penalized.
"It does not mean he was let go or was not held responsible for the charge," she said.
He was sentenced to probation and fined, she said. His probation ended Dec. 23, Serafin said.
There was some activity in the AccuHealth (formerly Lexington Algiatry) office Friday.
Gold had visited the office before — he and his wife were present during a visit by board investigators in November — but it wasn't clear whether he was there Friday.
Three people were working inside the clinic Friday but did not appear to be seeing patients. A woman inside the office said no one was available to speak with a reporter.