Christiansburg pain clinic shuts down without notice

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- Late last week, patients began telling WDBJ7 the Rinova pain management clinic in Christiansburg had closed without explanation.

So when we went to check Tuesday morning, sure enough, nobody was around.

Phone calls to three different numbers associated with the clinic went straight to this message: "All Rinova locations have closed as of Wednesday, May 8, 2019. A final one-month prescription will be mailed to all active patients."

One patient, who did not want to go on camera, said she got a text message Tuesday morning saying her appointment on Thursday was canceled.

The clinic was formerly known as PainMD.

Late last year, the federal government filed a lawsuit against PainMD's leaders, claiming they helped orchestrate "false or fraudulent claims for payment to Medicare and TRICARE" for tendon injections that "they knew or should have known were not actually provided."

The lawsuit alleges the U.S. suffered millions of dollars in damages from the fraudulent insurance claims.

While a sign on Rinova's window said it was under new ownership, the company's president, Benjamin Johnson, was a former executive at PainMD.

It is unclear if the shutdown of Rinova's locations, including Christiansburg and Bristol, are related to the allegations against PainMD.