So far, 37 children have been hospitalized after visiting Children’s Dental Group’s Anaheim, California clinic. The Anaheim location is just one of 11 locations this company is operating in California.
This story is being reported on nearly every news outlet in America. According to reports, all the children hospitalized had pulpotomies, otherwise known as “baby root canals”. According to Dr. Matthew Zahn, with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) all the children are between 3 and 9 years of age, and visited the clinic between March and July of this year. Zahn also says "Several hundred people had these pulpotomies, so we are anticipating that for at least the next several weeks or months, we're going to see more cases,"
None of this comes as a surpise to me, as I reported on this chain of clinics in March 2011. (See: Child Abused and Traumatized At Children Dental Group-Santa Ana).
I also think the time frame is much much larger for those who have or were infected. It’s just not coming to light yet.
I bet you do see more, Dr. Zahn! I would not be shocked if it thousands more. This place is a Medicaid Dental Mill pure and simple. Resports say 75% of their patients are on Denti-Cal.
There is little doubt in my mind the infections were due shoddy treatment these children received while dentists needlessly drilled away at perfectly good teeth and the unsanitary conditions inside the clinic. These mills are an assembly line and there is no time for proper care, let alone sanitation!
What is surprising to me is none of the news outlets (that I’ve seen so far) seems to be looking much further than the signage on the door as to who actaully owns and operates these clinics.
In case anyone was wondering it’s one Dr. Jerry David Minsky, under JERRY MINSKY, D.D.S., DENTAL CORP.
Oddly enough, Dr. Jerry David Minsky was formerly an Assistant Professor at West Coast University, Department of Dental Hygiene in Anaheim California.
I know, I know…crazy right?
Children’s Dental Group was founded by Dr. Scott Jacks in 1982. Jacks owned them until he died in 2014.
According to Dr. Jacks’ 2014 obituary the 8 offices (at the time) saw 8000 patients a month and had 400 dentists employeed.
Holy Cow, Batman! That is 50 dentists in each clinic! Talk about a volume driven, income churning dental practice! (Not sure why anyone would include that in an obituary, but they did, and I thank them.)
Dr. Jacks was also was referred to as Dr. Grey Goose. NO, I’m not kidding. Check out the obituary.
John Fehmer is the Cheif Executive Officer of Children’s Dental Group. Fehmer is also the registered agent for YKJF DENTAL MANAGEMENT, LLC.
Yes, another Dental Service Organization (DSO).
Jamie Gray is the Director of Operations for YKJF Dental Management Group. Her Linkedin page is makes it clear it’s a DSO.
Rapidly growing multi-location pediatric and orthodontic DSO. Responsible for all aspects of practice set up, launch and ramp up including insurance contracting and credentialing, supplier set up and relations, supply pricing negotiations, staff management and development, standard operating procedures, OSHA, HIPPA, training, etc.
Well, this scared the hell out of me!
According the the CDC symptoms include skin infected with M. abscessus is usually red, warm, tender to the touch, swollen, and/or painful. Infected areas can also develop boils or pus-filled vesicles. Other signs of M. abscessus infection are fever, chills, muscle aches, and a general feeling of illness. However, for a definite diagnosis, the organism has to be cultured from the infection site or, in severe cases, from a blood culture.
The CDC also states this bacteria is found in water, soil and dust and often contamiates medications and medical devices (ding ding ding). At this time the OCHCA is tracing this outbreak back to water inside the clinic, as it’s reported.
I’m not so sure.
Zahn told KTLA it was a “weak bug” and most people flush it away natuarlly going about their daily lives and never know they have it.
I doubt the 7 year old Mimi Morales who had to have her jaw bone removed feels this is a “weak bug”.
Zahn feels the water was stagnant in the waterline the dentist uses during procedures and after the crown was placed on the teeth the bacteria was trapped.
Maybe, maybe not. Being they do so doggone many of these baby root canals as well as other procedures, I’m not sure how the water would become stagnant, unless they aren’t using water to flush the tooth at all!!
On September 15 KTLA reported Children’s Dental Group was Ordered to stop using the “on site” water supply after tests came back postitive for a “similar” bacteria. One mother interviewed said her 8 years was at the clinic in January. Her son’s face was swollen and bruised, his glands were swollen and there were bumps in his mouth. She took him back to the Children’s Dental Clinic and the dentists assured her the child was just fine. She took him to the hospital where he received IV antibiotics and he got better. Well, until June when the same tooth became infected again and the tooth had to be removed. This mom says her son has suffered a great deal and he’s damaged from the trauma. Angel Guerreror, the child’s father was shocked being he trusted the dentists thinking they “supposedly knew what they were doing”. The parents learned of other children infected and filed a report with OCHCA. At the time of that report there were only 10 cases.
Now there are 37 and counting.
It’s further reported the clinic is being investigated by the California Dental Board and they are still open for business as of today.
OMG! Readers of this blog know full well how that will turn out. Don’t expect an update on that for at least 3 years, maybe 5!
I’d like three things:
- One, to see the data from Denti-Cal on all these Children’s Dental Group clinics, including each and every proceedure they are reimbursed and the amount.
- Two, would love to hear from some of these parents.
- Three, see that someone sues the crap out of this bunch of crooks.