The University of Arizona Pain Clinic is preparing to close its doors until it can bring in new physicians to run it.
The first hint of problems at the 8-year-old clinic came just weeks ago when a July 1 letter notified patients that the clinic's director, Kutaiba Tabbaa, M.D., had left Tucson and his patients would have to seek new doctors. Ten days later, a second letter to patients stated the clinic was closing because of "unexpected" staffing changes, as of October. Until then, it will remain open two days a week under Brian Cammarata, M.D., while patients are transferred to other care.
But there are plans to reopen the clinic as soon as new physicians are recruited to run it, University Physicians Healthcare officials said. "We do intend to open again," said Norm Botsford, chief executive officer at University Physicians Healthcare. "In the meantime, we know a lot of pain patients have been caught off-guard, and we're doing all we can to get new physicians for them."
During the past year, the UA Pain Clinic logged more than 5,800 patient procedures and outpatient visits and is estimated to treat 750 chronic-pain patients who require ongoing care, UPH records show.