Saturday, March 13, 2010

Small Smiles Quality Initiatives Are Rubbish

FORBA’s 3 page statement released  Jan, 18, 2010 entitled:
Safeguarding Children’s Dental Health:
FORBA Quality Initiatives Since 2006
…is nothing but rubbish and says little more than they have said time and again.  The only part in the whole statement that is note worthy as being honest and factual is “since 2006”, that’s pretty much it.

You would think by reading it they had put all kinds of great new policies in place but you would be mistaken. The pledge, the hotline, the Advisory Board, etc, all that is R & R (Rinse and Repeat) bull!

At their own website there is a press release, dated March 7, 2008 (over 2 years ago) where they had put Dr. Steven Adair on the payroll, opened the ‘not line’, posted the “Pledge” and admit they have 70 clinics, not 69.  (and note that it was only after Roberta Baskin’s explosive expose’ before they even gave any thought to pretending to clean up their act.

(a company with out these serious allegation of fraud and abuse wouldn’t really need a hotline, advisory board, a pledge or a Quality Initiative statement would they?)

Then there is the November 5, 2008 press release where they talk about their new “Compliance Officer”, Allison Luke.  She was really gonna whip things into shape, according to them.  I’m giving her a big fat F.

By reading the ‘quality initiatives’ BS you would come away thinking they had put a new Advisory Board together too, but that would be a wrong assumption as well.

March 7, 2008 - Dr. Steven Adair was put on the payroll to send out memos on occasion and completely ruin his reputation among his peers. There are reports as late as February 2010  of the same treatment happening.  So, Dr. Adair is not new and he gets a big fat F as well.

2007- FORBA established it’s Pediatric Dental Advisory Board with;

Dr. Paul Casamassimo, Dr. Arthur Nowak, and Dr. Joe Bernat.  Other than adding Dr. Anupama Rao Tate to the mystery board, there is nothing new here either. If the dentists on this board can’t do any better than they’ve done in 3 years, they need to turn in their dental licenses.  So each one of them get a big fat F too!

The only thing ‘new’ they have done is move Angela Newberry from Keystone Education and Youth/Universal Health payroll to FORBA payroll and finally admit to being associated with several clinics they previously denied having anything to do with, like the clinic in Gary, IN, the clinics in Oklahoma and Kansas, but they still continue to lie like junkyard dogs and say they don’t “own’ the clinics.  But we all know that is the biggest lie of all.  Anyone seen a clinic for sale lately?  

On November 6, 2007, FORBA’s CEO, Michael Lindley issued a statement to Good Morning America mentioning:
“Small Smiles has no policy that prohibits parents in the treatment area. Allowing a parent in the treatment area is up to the treating dentist in collaboration with the parents based on their belief of the best way to treat the child. Such a family-friendly policy encourages our dentists to allow parents in the treatment area to be part of the patient's treatment experience.”
(choke and gag) Even though a memo entitled Tips From Others In The Field had been issued on October 12, 2007 by Lisa Mullinix (3 weeks earlier) stating the following:
Unsure how to tell parents we do not want them in the back, here are some suggestions from others:
"For your child's safety and your safety, we do no allow parents in the Hygiene and OP room. We want your child to focus on the dentist, hygienist, and assistants directions." 
You can also go on to say:

"We promise to come and get you if your child needs you."
You also can continue to say the following:

"Usually when parents are in the room with their children, they tend to cry and get upset and look at you to save them. That usually places you in a difficult position because your child won't understand why you are not taking them away. We have found that when they are alone they focus better and normally don't cry." (
larger view of memo)
or what about the bottom part of page 4 of the Small Smiles Dental Clinic Manual!

He also said FORBA;
“has no reason to believe services were needed that actually were not” and that they take seriously ANY allegations which calls into question our commitment to deliver quality care.  That is why we are taking such extraordinary steps to share with you our values, our commitments and to do so in as transparent a way as possible”
See Statement from Michael Lindley here.
(choke and gag) I guess the 10,000 reports phoned into that ‘not line’ didn’t raise any red flags worth looking into, did they?  This so called ‘hot line’ is nothing more than a ‘gotta cover our ass fast’ line.  As a parent, the only phone call you need to make is to any attorney, ASAP.

And we can't forget that just a little more than a month after Lindley made this statement, they updated the bonus program so employees in the front office could get bonuses too, they were being cheated out of the 'production' bonuses. 

Bonus page 1
Bonus page 2
Bonus page 3

Even more scary..  the “Community Partnerships” they want to create.  God Help Us All.

In conclusion, no there is nothing new to FORBA’s Small Smiles clinics or the quality of care and quality of their work.  

All these so called initiatives have been in place for a long time, some for 3 years and look at all the reports of torture than has been reported in those 2 years!  They still have not had their ‘come to Jesus moment’. .. but it’s coming, rest assured, it’s coming.

I’m not so sure the Federal and State governments should not also be on the hot seat here, for allowing the doors to remain open, knowing full well what they are doing.  At the very least state Dental Boards have let the public down!

What’s going to happen when the next child is hurt or another one dies from being treated at one of these clinics?  What then? 

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