According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Drug Enforcement Agency recently served several search warrants to Advanced Urgent Care centers in Pennsylvania. DEA officials in Philadelphia were unreachable for comment on this action, and the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia also refused to comment.
A sign on the door of one clinic told patients that they were closed, and to “check back tomorrow at 9 a.m.” to see if they’d be open. One patient was turned away on Thursday. Ashley Sylvester, a 22-year-old Scranton native, visits the clinic for a Suboxone treatment, used to treat opiate addiction. The authorities at the door exhibited sympathy for her, but still declined insight into the nature of the investigation.
In an interview with the Scranton Times Tribune, the resident special head agent of the DEA’s Scranton office, Mark Gabura, claimed that the agency was investigating activities at several Advanced Urgent Care centers. He declined to comment on the specific activities, or what exactly they were looking for.
Founded in 2010 by Dr. Mehdi Nikpavar, the Scranton Advanced Urgent Care opened just as area insurance providers began including these kinds of facilities in their provider networks. The Urgent Care Association of America reports a national total of three million visits to Urgent Care doctors every week.
Attempts to reach Nikpavar for commentary were unsuccessful. The phone representative at the company’s Scranton HQ had received explicit orders not to comment. Patients of the Pennsylvania locations, which include Philadelphia, Wynnefield, Willow Grove, Montgomeryville, State College, Sinking Spring, and Scranton, will have to temporarily find new doctors to assist them until their clinics reopen.