LAGS Medical Centers has closed its pain management clinics in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Templeton, and Grover Beach and some patients say it came without notice.
Former LAGS patient Trisha Shoemaker recently had surgery on her hand for carpal tunnel syndrome. She went to get a checkup, just to find out the pain management center suddenly closed.
“I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with my doctor at LAGS and was told not to bother going to the appointment,” Shoemaker said.
KSBY reached out to LAGS Pain Management and they said they cannot yet disclose why they closed. However, they’re giving patients a 30-day supply of their medication and referring them back to their primary doctors.
Other local pain management centers say they’re now getting overwhelmed. Pacific Pain Physicians in Santa Barbara said they get dozens of calls from former patients of LAGS Pain Management every day.
“They’re informing us that they’ve been given no notice and they’re freaking out and trying to find a new pain doctor,” said Pacific Pain Physician office manager Erika Placencia.
They said each of the Pacific Pain Physician locations on the Central Coast may only be able to take on an additional 100 to 200 new patients, which means many may have to be turned away.
“We’re probably only going to be able to take 10-15% of his patient volume. We’ll need help from other practices and primary care doctors," said Pacific Pain Physician Dr. Ralph Mozingo. “It’s a drop in a bucket what we’ll be able to do.”
San Luis Obispo County’s Public Health Department has been helping former LAGS Pain Management patients by referring those who ask for assistance to a new place for medical care.
“We want to make sure that they know they can get the support that’s needed,” said San Luis Obispo Public Health Department Program Manager Nestor Veloz-Passalacqua.