Dr. Michael W. Davis maintains a general dental practice in Santa Fe, NM. He serves as chairperson for Santa Fe District Dental Society Peer-Review. Dr. Davis also provides a fair amount of dental expert legal work for attorneys. He may be contacted via email: MWDavisDDS@comcast.net
American Dental Association’s Strange Bedfellow, Wonderbox Technologies
By: Michael W. Davis, DDS
On June 8, 2016, the American Dental Association (ADA) announced its collaboration with Wonderbox Technologies.1 The effort is designed to provide a centralized computerized credentialing service for doctors, at no cost to ADA member dentists. This database could be accessed by third party payers such as insurance companies, government entities, hospitals and clinics, as well as employers. The desired result is a more streamlined credentialing process with elimination of duplicative efforts.
Obviously, such a databank will contain highly confidential material. The consequences of a data breach could easily compromise doctors, but also potentially damage entities legitimately attempting to access data for dentist credentialing. Personnel at Wonderbox Technologies and the ADA involved in safeguarding private information must maintain the highest levels of ethics and meticulous safety protocols.
Craig Kasten is the board chairman and co-founder of Wonderbox Technologies. Formerly, Kasten was co-founder and co-owner of Doral Dental, an interstate dental Medicaid administrator. Doral Dental was bought out by DentaQuest, in 2004 for a reported $108 million.
Craig Kasten and Doral Dental gained notoriety during the federal criminal trial of today convicted felon (66 months), John Ford on bribery scheme charges.2-4 Former Tennessee state senator, John Ford was commonly known as “Mister 10%”. This referenced his alleged unlawful skim on state government contracts.
Doral Dental paid through a consulting firm over $400,000 to John Ford, in order to secure an $18 million state contract to administer dental Medicaid in Tennessee. Prior to the payment, Senator Ford spoke vociferously against the services of Doral Dental in Tennessee. The astonishing turnaround was 180 degrees, once payment was assured.
During the trial of John Ford, the defense wanted to call upon the testimony of Craig Kasten. Kasten agreed, but only under the condition the government offered him immunity. The prosecution declined to offer immunity, and in turn, Kasten invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. US Assistant Attorney Eli Richardson stated about not offering Craig Kasten immunity, “(He) is not a candid witness; he is not a reliable witness.”
In short order after acquisition of Doral Dental by DentaQuest, DentalQuest dismissed all senior management formerly associated with Doral. On March 23, 2005, Doral Dental (acquired by DentaQuest prior year) released an internal investigation which pointed the finger at Kasten and other former Doral executives for the deals with Sen. John Ford. Craig Kasten, nor any former director or management of Doral Dental, has ever been indicted for activities centering on the criminal bribery actions of John Ford.
One is left to speculate on the vetting process employed by the ADA in selection of their corporate collaborators. The concept of a centralized database for doctor credentialing on its face seems highly constructive. This would benefit dentists, as well as those legitimate parties seeking data for the credentialing process. However, the integrity of those “guarding the henhouse” of a doctor’s personal and professional identity must be beyond reproach.