ASHEVILLE, NC – A local veterinary specialty clinic closed its doors on Monday as fraud accusations swirl regarding its treatment and billing practices. MaxxPurr Kitty Pain Specialists in downtown Asheville was a fairly new but thriving boutique veterinary specialty office focused on feline fibromyalgia (FFM).
Their practice apparently operated on a model similar to human pain clinics, but the technicians and vets there allegedly were billing for procedures which weren’t actually performed. GomerBlog spoke with Jim Haney, JD, an area Veterinary Medical Malpractice Attorney, for comment.
“In a nutshell, we learned that MaxxPurr was billing for numerous therapies which were never performed on its furry feline patients. Feline fibromyalgia (FFM) is a recently ‘discovered’ disease by veterinary pharmaceutical corporations that affects overweight house cats. The drug companies assert that it is a common cause of widespread pain, listlessness, and anhedonia in the cat population. Although it does not cause feline deaths, limb loss, threaten any of the five senses, or cause any measurable lab or radiographic abnormalities, VetPharma and these boutique clinics would have you believe that the disease brings epic suffering to nearly all American cats.”
“MaxxPurr operated under the premise of providing needed interventions on these asymptomatic cats. Their marketing strategies targeted single human females aged 40-60 who own numerous cats. After an initial consultation visit, their veterinarians uniformly diagnosed FFM in all cats, and then recommended a series of acupuncture, nerve root injections, aromatherapy, and massage on each furry patient. A typical session would cost $25 per cat; when most ‘cat ladies’ own 10-12 cats, bills reached $250-$300 per week for treatments that their pets didn’t need.”
“We had a very calming, Eastern-style lobby/foyer with fountains, a Koi pond, bamboo, and Enya playing overhead as customers walked in. Once we convinced them to sign on, we took the cats from the owners under the guise that we were going back to start therapy sessions. Instead, we brought them all to a common play area with carpeted furniture towers for the kitties to climb on. Staff members shook bells on sticks with feathers attached, and shone laser pointers all over the walls.”
“We basically just did all the things pet owners should do to ensure their pets’ happiness, but weren’t. We gave the cats exercise, nutritious food, sunshine, rest, and some affection, but we charged people for it. They kept coming back because their pets were getting better. We were meeting the basic needs of any mammal. It isn’t rocket science.” The employee was quick to point out that cats in third-world countries don’t suffer from feline fibromyalgia.