CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Cranston chiropractor who received millions in taxpayer dollars to perform an unsanctioned neurotherapy announced Saturday his practice will close in August.
The chiropractor — Victor Pedro — made the announcement in the May 16 edition of The Providence Journal, saying his Rhode Island Integrated Medicine Office would close on Aug. 16.
“Patients needing assistance in locating another health care provider should contact their primary care physician,” the company wrote in a paid notice that the practice is closing.
Pedro did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Health, told Target 12 practitioners who are shutting down are required to notify the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline of the location of patients’ records, “so they can be accessed by patients and their future healthcare providers.”
“The board has not received anything yet,” Wendelken said.
The Cranston chiropractor became ensnared in controversy last year after House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s leadership team once again tucked $1 million into the state budget specifically earmarked for Pedro and his treatment, called “Cortical Integrative Therapy.”
Mattiello initially defended the funding, claiming it provided a “unique therapy for people with brain injuries and trauma,” which state and federal officials had rejected for years, but ultimately nixed the money.
Medical experts had repeatedly expressed doubts about CIT. In a 2017 letter refusing to provide federal Medicaid funding for the program, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema Verma said there were “very few parameters for cost or quality control” involved. And in 2015, the state’s own Medicaid Medical Care Advisory Committee determined “there wasn’t evidence that the treatment worked.”
A review by Target 12 showed Rhode Island lawmakers had steered at least $1.9 million in taxpayer money to Pedro’s programs since 2004. Both Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and former Republican Gov. Don Carcieri tried cutting funding for Pedro multiple times over the last decade and a half, but top House Democrats had restored the funding each time.
Mattiello said last year Pedro had treated the late Frank Montanaro Sr., an influential labor leader and father of former state Rep. Frank Montanaro Jr., who is now the executive director of the powerful Joint Committee on Legislative Services, and is a key Mattiello adviser.
In October, Target 12 reported the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a subpoena to the state seeking records related to Pedro and his practice.
Saturday’s newspaper notice said patients with written authorization could receive copies of their medical records at the company’s offices in Cranston.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook