Texas legislators are attempting to regulate the operation of Dental Service Organizations (DSO’s), currently operating secretly in the state. At the very least lawmakers want them to register as doing business in their state.
At public hearings in March 2012 lawmakers were shocked to hear members of the TSBDE say they didn’t have a clue how many dental clinics were operating in the state. The TSBDE also admitted they were oblivious as to who owned any dental clinics in Texas. That’s right, the same clinics where licensed (or not) dentists perform medical procedures on Texas citizens, the TSBDE didn’t know who owned any of them – be it an actual dentist, a group greedy investors or a teacher’s union in Canada, i.e. Heartland. Further, no one seemed to care until it was pointed out the hundreds of millions of dollars being stolen from the Medicaid program.
HB 151 attempts to change that, but HB 151 hasn’t moved since February 21, 2013 – has rigor mortis set in?
During at least 2 hearings since last March – the last earlier this month - the DSO’s have sent stooges to testify. Under oath, they have declared there is nothing shady going on. The most laughable happened last Fall, when Diane Earle of NCDR/Kool Smiles was nearly laughed out of the chamber. Ok, few actually laughed out loud, but she did receive a “bless her heart” type dismissal. NCDR/Kool Smiles Dental is owned by FFL Partners in San Francisco. see video.
In an attempt to keep the bones buried, NCDR/Kool Smiles seldom misses the opportunity to remind employees (past and present) of confidentiality agreements they signed when they began their employment with the company. i.e. letters of intimidation and threats of lawsuits.
The DSO’s are fighting back. They don’t want any government agency to know they are doing business in any state, let alone the degree of shadiness.
Wonder why that is, exactly? I’ll tell you why, because they know they are operating multi-million dollar illegal businesses. When you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing, right?
The latest report of DSO’s fighting back is Heartland Dental “requesting” their dentist send letters to lawmakers opposing any regulations requiring DSO’s to register with any government body. So lawmakers – in any state or in Washington - if you are suddenly receiving letters from dentists opposing DSO registration, take their name and address, they work for one!