Lynx Healthcare pain management clinic in Spokane Valley and Kennewick to close on September 8
Lynx Healthcare, a pain management clinic operating in Spokane Valley and Kennewick, has announced its impending closure on Friday, September 8.
This affects approximately 2,000 patients. The majority of patients are receiving treatment for chronic pain management. A smaller subset of patients are receiving addiction medicine treatment for opioid use disorder.
With patient safety being the top priority, the Health Care Authority, Department of Health, and Department of Labor & Industries are working with health plans and community organizations to ensure patients do not experience disruption in care to the greatest extent possible.
However, given the suddenness of Lynx’s closure, we anticipate that some patients may have difficulty obtaining new pain management or addiction medicine providers.
We are advising patients to contact their primary care provider and/or insurance provider to learn about their options.
Health practitioners treating displaced patients are not in danger of disciplinary action from the state’s Medical Commission. This protection extends to all activities related to ordering, prescribing, dispensing, or administering controlled substances, including opioids, within the bounds of legitimate medical purposes and professional practice.
Lynx Healthcare has issued a notice on its website detailing the impending closures. This notice provides patients with essential guidance on securing a final appointment, procuring medical records, and identifying alternative pain clinic options available in the vicinity.
There are potential dangers associated with the abrupt cessation of prescribed pain medication, particularly for those who have been on these medications for extended periods or at high doses. The abrupt discontinuation could lead to withdrawal symptoms and heightened health risks, including potential for elevated risk of overdose and suicide.
Potential Impact to Local Hospitals:
The impending closure could lead to patients presenting at local emergency departments exhibiting withdrawal symptoms or seeking prescription refills. Patients may present at elevated risk of overdose and suicide. Medical professionals are advised to be vigilant and prepared for these potential scenarios.
Potential Impact to Local Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services:
The closure could potentially trigger an increase in emergency service calls due to withdrawal symptoms or other medical issues stemming from alterations in patients' pain management routines, including potential for an elevated risk of overdose and suicide. Authorities and emergency medical services should be prepared for these situations.
Guidance for patients
The abrupt closure of a pain clinic is stressful for patients. Concerns include worsening pain, medication withdrawal, and finding a new pain care or addiction medicine provider. It is essential to offer as much guidance as possible to affected patients. This guidance includes:
- Start looking for a new doctor or clinic as soon as you can.
- Contact Lynx for a copy of your medical records so you can pass this along to a new doctor.
- Check Lynx’s website for other clinics in the area.
- Contact your managed care organization or insurance provider to learn about your options.
- The Washington State Recovery Helpline has a Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) locator to help addiction medicine-specific patients find access to a new buprenorphine provider for their opioid use disorder. This can be found at https://search.warecoveryhelpline.org.
- Prior to September 8: Please call Lynx Healthcare at 509-591-0070 if you need a final appointment.