Calling All Texas Dentists – Urgent! (and non-Texas dentists please read)

Below is information from a post on DentalTown provided by Jason Wood, a dental attorney very familiar with the corporate influence in dentistry, and like us, a proponent of advocating for the solo dentist. We have seen a very different dynamic in PPO rates in Texas in the recent years, much due to the influx of corporate involvement. Below is information we encourage Texas dentists to read and take action on but also encourage all dentists to stay educated about so that you can battle nationally as these opportunities present themselves.

Do you want the ability to combat corporate dentistry? Here is your greatest chance to do so. PLEASE NOTE, while this will impact the State of Texas the reverberations will be felt throughout the entire United States and is this industry’s greatest chance to fight back against the hedge funds, venture capitalists and stockholders who are threatening the very well being of this industry. The Dental Board of Texas should be applauded for their efforts in seeing through the false arguments that corporate dental companies use by claiming they serve the poor and underserved populations and are providing “access to care” to millions of Americans. The reality is, as we all know much more sinister; they prey upon the uninformed and neediest of the population and encourage the overtreatment of the poor and middle class and place them in financial hardship with their credit policies.
I invite all Texas dentists that have been employees of corporate chains, and all dentists that have seen the work performed by corporate chains, to appear at a public hearing regarding a rule change that will effectively BAR non-dentist companies from owning dental practices in the State of Texas.
http://www.tsbde.state.tx.us/documents/Notice_of_Public_Hearing_10012014.pdf

The hearing can be found at the link above. I implore all to attend as the corporate chains will have their lobbyists and attorneys there. We need rationale, non-emotional, scientific arguments to be presented at this hearing. The Dental Board is behind this, however the corporate players are spending MILLIONS trying to defeat this and are, I am sure, speaking to as many politicians as possible regarding this. You will need to be committed and organized to see this law get passed.

Below is the language of the proposed change in the law. You can see that it effectively terminates the ability for the corporate chains to make money off of this. Please spend some time reading this, and agreeing to take part. I encourage you to repost this on other forums and sites so that this gets maximum exposure in the next week. You have one week to rally the troops to what may end up being a pivotal battle for the heart and soul of this great profession!

(Editor’s note: The text of the following section proposed for repeal will not be published. The section may be examined in the offices of the State Board of Dental Examiners or in the Texas Register office, James Earl Rudder Building, 1019 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas.)

The State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) proposes the repeal of 22 TAC §108.70, concerning improper influence on professional judgment.

The agency seeks to repeal §108.70 and replace it with proposed new §108.70 which clarifies the permissible contractual agreements or arrangements between dentists and non-dentists.

Julie Hildebrand, Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed repeal is in effect, the repealed rule will not have foreseeable implications relating to cost or revenue of state or local government.

Ms. Hildebrand has also determined that for the first five-year period the proposed repeal is in effect, the repealed rule will ensure the protection of public health and safety. Ms. Hildebrand has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed repeal is in effect, the repealed rule will not have foreseeable economic costs to persons or small businesses who are required to comply with the rule. There is no foreseeable impact on employment in any regional area where the repealed rule is enforced or administered.

Comments on the proposed repeal may be submitted to Simone Salloum, Assistant General Counsel, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-800, Austin, Texas 78732, Fax (512) 463-7452, rulecomments@tsbde.texas.gov, no later than 30 days from the date that the proposed rule is published in the Texas Register.

The repeal is proposed under Texas Occupations Code §254.001(a), which gives the Board authority to adopt rules necessary to perform its duties and ensure compliance with state laws relating to the practice of dentistry to protect the public health and safety.
No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed repeal.
§108.70.Improper Influence on Professional Judgment.
The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency’s legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 25, 2014.

TRD-201404059
Nycia Deal

General Counsel
State Board of Dental Examiners
Earliest possible date of adoption: October 5, 2014

For further information, please call: (512) 475-0977

2 TAC §108.70
The State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) proposes new 22 TAC §108.70, concerning contracts, agreements, and arrangements with licensed dentists.

This proposed new rule provides guidance concerning contracts, agreements, or arrangements, between licensed dentists and unlicensed persons.

Julie Hildebrand, Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed new rule is in effect enforcing or administering the rule will not have foreseeable implications relating to cost or revenue of state or local government.

Ms. Hildebrand has also determined that for the first five-year period the proposed new rule is in effect enforcing or administering the rule will ensure the protection of public health and safety. Ms. Hildebrand has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed new rule is in effect, enforcing or administering the rule will not have foreseeable economic costs to persons or small businesses who are required to comply with the rule. There is no foreseeable impact on employment in any regional area where the new rule is enforced or administered.

Comments on the proposed new rule may be submitted to Simone Salloum, Assistant General Counsel, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-800, Austin, Texas 78732, Fax (512) 463-7452, rulecomments@tsbde.texas.gov, no later than 30 days from the date that the proposed rule is published in the Texas Register.

The new rule is proposed under Texas Occupations Code §254.001(a), which gives the Board authority to adopt rules necessary to perform its duties and ensure compliance with state laws relating to the practice of dentistry to protect the public health and safety.

No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed new rule.
§108.70.Contracts, Agreements, and Arrangements with Licensed Dentists.
(a) Definitions.
(1) For purposes of this section, “dentist” includes a Texas-licensed dentist, dental professional corporation, or other entity owned by one or more Texas-licensed dentists that provide dental services.
(2) For purposes of this section, “dental practice” or “dental office” includes patient charts, equipment, supplies, goodwill of the practice, and accounts receivable.
(b) A person who is not a Texas-licensed dentist violates §251.003(a)(4) of the Dental Practice Act, by engaging in the practice of dentistry if the person owns, maintains, or operates an office or place of business in which the person employs or engages under any type of contract another person to practice dentistry.
(c) A person who is not a Texas-licensed dentist violates §251.003(a)(9) of the Dental Practice Act by engaging in the practice of dentistry if the person controls, influences, attempts to control or influence, or otherwise interferes with a dentist’s independent professional judgment regarding the diagnosis or treatment of a dental disease, disorder, or physical condition.
(d) A Texas-licensed dentist shall not enter into a contract, agreement or arrangement with a person who is not a Texas-licensed dentist that allows or results in the unlicensed person:
(1) controlling, influencing, attempting to control or influence, or otherwise interfering with the independent professional judgment of the dentist, including but not limited to:
(A) setting a maximum or other standardized time for the performance of specific dental procedures;
(B) limiting, imposing requirements, or conditioning fees paid by or to the dentist, on treatment, scheduling, referrals, or consultations;
(C) limiting or imposing requirements concerning the type or scope of dental treatment, procedures, or services that may be recommended, prescribed, directed, or performed;
(D) limiting or imposing requirements concerning the supplies, instruments, or equipment deemed reasonably necessary by a dentist to provide diagnoses and treatment;
(E) limiting or imposing requirements for the professional training deemed necessary by the dentist to properly serve the dentist’s patients;
(F) directing or influencing the selection of specific diagnostic examinations and treatment or practices;
(G) limiting or determining the duties of professional, clinical, or other personnel employed to assist a dentist in the practice of dentistry; or
(H) establishing professional standards, protocols, or practice guidelines, which in the professional judgment of the dentist, conflict with generally accepted standards within the dental profession;
(2) placing limitations or conditions upon communications that are clinical in nature with the dentist’s patients;
(3) interfering with the dentist’s sole ownership of and access to patient records or setting any conditions related to the specific content of the patient records;
(4) exercising sole control over:
(A) bank accounts;
(B) purchasing, sale, financing, or lease of dental and non-dental equipment, instruments, software, and supplies;
(C) patient lists, supplier lists, or other personal property assets of the dentist;
(D) accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, investment, or similar financial services;
(E) pledge, collection, or sale of accounts receivable from the patients;
(F) billing and collection services;
(G) advertising and marketing services;
(H) consulting, professional development, business and personnel practices, and other advisory services;
(I) legal services;
(J) soliciting and negotiating contracts with third party payors; or
(K) hiring and firing of non-licensed or licensed staff;
(5) entering into lease, mortgage, or ownership agreements regarding the use of space for dental offices based on a percentage of the revenue received by the dentist;
(6) sharing or receiving the profits, in whole or in part, from the sale of the dental practice, patient charts, goodwill, or patient lists; or
(7) penalizing a dentist for reporting violations of a law regulating the practice of dentistry.
(e) Licensees who enter into the contracts, agreements, or arrangements described in section (d) are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to §263.002(a)(8) of the Dental Practice Act.
The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency’s legal authority to adopt.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 25, 2014.
TRD-201404076
Nycia Deal
General Counsel
State Board of Dental Examiners
Earliest possible date of adoption: October 5, 2014
For further information, please call: (512) 475-0977

The information was provided by:
Jason P. Wood
Wood & Delgado
(800) 499-1474
jason@dentalattorneys.com
www.dentalattorneys.com
www.twitter.com/dentalattorneys
www.facebook.com/#/pages/Irvine-CA/Dental-Attorneys/410787190499