Tuesday, January 03, 2012

So you want to work for a corporate dental chain? What should Dr. Beth do?

www.bdms-perfectteeth.com 2012-1-3 14-7-20



Beth A. Dorain, DMD
Lafayette, Colorado

Employer: Perfect Teeth
Management Company: Birner Dental Management Service, Inc – Mark Birner, DDS-President

I am working for a corporate chain.  I do not like it, and I thought they were jerks.  The CEO called to yell at me about October's low production.  (FWIW, there were many legitimate reasons for the low production in October.)  Not worth listing here.  Production more than doubled in November.  The next day, he called to say he was going to change my compensation to purely a percentage of production.  After the first phone call,  I was 100% certain that I was going to quit in short order.  So, I went ahead and signed it.

Now, I've come to realize that I make 30% of insurance reimbursements and patient's co-pay.  The problem is that they take a lot of DMOs with capitation checks.  I spend a lot of time doing exams, fillings, etc. and discovered that there is no re-imbursement for those procedures.  The compensation for the work comes in the cap check.    But, they will not give me ANY percentage of that cap check.  I did not realize that I was doing exams, fillings, etc. FOR FREE.  In many cases, the fillings are $0.00 or the co-pays are ridiculously low. 

For example, I did three anterior root canals on one patient.  The total reimbursement for it was $120.00.  So, I made $36.00 for the three root canals. 
Is it even legal for this organization to expect me to work for FREE.
My contract does say (excludes capitation check)
I'm getting a lawyer!!!!!!!!

I did forget to mention one very important detail, one month after I signed the Addendum, I did get another offer which I accepted.  However, I am supposed to give my current employer 90 days notice (which I did on December 15.  That keeps me in "jail" until mid March.  I am hoping to not honor those 90 days due to the language of the original agreement. 


The Addendum says that the "compensation section" of the original agreement is null and void, and that I am now on a purely percentage basis with no guaranteed minimum.

The original agreement says that if I do not honor my 90 day notice, then I must pay double my hourly minimum guarantee for the hours I was supposed to work. If I do not have a guaranteed minimum, then I either don't owe them anything, or I would owe them double minimum wage. 

My new employer agreed to put me to work early if I could get out early.  So, it may be worth paying the penalty assuming worst case is double minimum wage.  I calculated that I would owe them about $6K in that case.
I am attaching the "Addendum" I signed.  If this doesn't work, believe me, I have IDEAS.

Here's one:
Since my current employer likes to make money with irrigation, Arestin, etc., I plan to tell every patient that "those adjuncts are very controversial.  According to well respected periodontists, the literature does not support their use.  It offers little to no benefit.  However, we can still sell it to you for $40.00 per site."  I am only stating factual information.  There should be no prohibition against that! 

From  Perfect Teeth website:

Birner Dental Management Services, Inc. is a publicly traded business services organization (NASDAQ Capital Market: BDMS) that Serves a network of dental offices marketed under the name of PERFECT TEETH. Established in 1995, PERFECT TEETH is now the largest provider of high quality, comprehensive dental care in Colorado and New Mexico and is growing in Arizona as well. On two separate occasions we have been included on the fortune Small Business list of America's Top 100 Fastest growing Small Public Companies.