Showing posts with label Dr. Dr. Michael W. Davis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dr. Dr. Michael W. Davis. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Corporate Dental Branding- What Dental Consumers Need to Know


Dr. Michael Davis
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
 
   

Corporate Dental Branding- What Dental Consumers Need to Know



A brand is a name, term or symbol which one company uses to differentiate its products and services, from that of another company.1 Corporations employ numbers of different strategies in branding. Healthcare professionals are generally fairly ignorant on corporate branding practices, as this is not an element of their formal education. By contrast, those parties which beneficially own corporate dental practices retain individuals well-skilled and well educated in all forms of retail sales, marketing, and finance. Their abilities include a plethora of differing and complex branding methodology.



In its simplest form, a chain of corporate dental clinics may seek direct brand recognition by consumers. They may market “outstanding dental care at reasonable prices”, all associated with their brand. Branding may be part of a marketing program to generate public goodwill via broad mechanisms, ranging from well-publicized charitable events to sponsoring a NASCAR driver.2 Branding may also be associated with the business model of dental Medicaid care.



Unfortunately for the corporate dental industry, many of their more established brands have become associated with abuses to the public welfare.3-9  

(Author’s note: References only cite a mere handful of well reported abuses generated from corporate dentistry, disclosed by government officials.) 

Dental clinics managed and directed by non-doctor corporate management often have a troubling record, which the public is witnessing. Likewise, dentists who may be employed in such workplaces are also witnessing abuses to the public interest generated and facilitated by brand-name companies in corporate dentistry. As such, many in the public are avoiding dental services offered by branded corporate dental practices. Further, these branded corporate practices are finding employee/doctor attraction and retention increasingly challenging. One corporate chain recently reported over 10% loss in total dentist staff for a one-year period.10



Crowd Sourced Branding-

Numbers of branded corporate dental groups are increasingly discovering their branded identity has negative consequences. In fact, the term “corporate dentistry” is an example of “crowd sourced branding”, in which the public assigns a company a brand (positive or negative), versus the traditional method of branding, in which a company designs their branding scheme.



Some dental corporations have fought back by explicitly marketing their distance from “corporate dentistry”. One such ad from a corporate dental chain openly states, “You Hate Corporate Dentistry and So Do We”. The veracity of their claim seems highly suspect, especially when one views their multiple settlement agreements with multiple states’ attorney generals. However, corporate dental management is evidently far more concerned with negative fallout of crowd sourced branding, versus presenting truth in the public marketplace. 




To further counter the negative public impression of corporate dentistry generated by crowd sourced branding, numbers of corporate dental chains market the misrepresentation of doctors, and not faceless Wall Street types, as owning dental practices. The reality is very different and highly disturbing. 
Numbers of dental chain corporations establish specific individual doctors to act fully as sham-owners, who have no control of management, the sale of “their” asset of the dental practice, or control of clinic bank accounts. In fact, these shame-owner dentists have no idea how the funds generated by “their” dental clinics are allocated; depositions in the Small Smiles mass action lawsuit made that abundantly clear.





Other corporate dental chains establish a group of dentists acting as sham-owners, via the accounting mechanism of a professional corporation (PC). Again, these doctors have no true and valid ownership privileges of dental practices, as beneficial ownership passes to non-doctor corporations, often private equity investment firms. Some of the world’s largest and most well-known private equity firms currently are or formerly have been the beneficial holders of corporate dental chains, which direct patient dental care. Examples include Morgan Stanley11, Valour Investments Ltd.12, Carlyle Group13, American Capital Strategies13, FFL Partners14, Gryphon Investors15, MSD Capital (holdings of Michael Dell  family)16,17, etc. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Business Service Agreements: A Tool for Deception within the Corporate Dental Support Industry

Business Service Agreements: A Tool for Deception within the Corporate Dental Support Industry
Dr. Michael DavisBy Michael W. Davis, DDS

Business Service Agreements (BSAs), also called Business Service Contracts or Management Service Agreements (MSAs), are a tool created by the dental support industry (a/k/a dental support organizations) to mask their true business operational models. These contracts are generated between the unlicensed ownership (corporate beneficial owner) and the sham figurehead owner (nominee owner dentist(s)).
These agreements contain a variety of misrepresentations specifically designed to circumvent the rule of law. These BSAs serve as a lynchpin supporting the unlawful house of cards, of largely unlicensed and unregulated healthcare entities. Please note: the term “dental support organization” is also an intentional misrepresentation, to mask beneficial ownership.
Case precedent was established in federal Fifth Circuit ruling 07-30430)1., in which the court determined a Dental Support (Service) Organization (DSO), Orthodontic Centers of America (beneficial owner of dental clinics), was engaged in the unlicensed and unlawful practice of dentistry. The court also ruled the business agreements with so-called “owner” dentists were unenforceable and non-severable (denying one part could be enforced while another could not), because elements in these contracts were unlawful, the entire contract was rendered unenforceable.
Nationally, every DSO has created different BSAs. And, within different states, different DSOs will produce different agreements. However, there exist common features worth examination in the vast majority of these contracts.

Dental Clinic Ownership
The DSO generally will deny ownership of the dental practice. Yet, the DSO usually owns the facility or is the landlord on the lease agreement. The DSO owns the dental equipment, supplies, and any possible leasehold improvements.
The DSO enjoys contract rights to control what dentists or entity may be artificially designated as “owners”. An owner dentist(s) may not freely sell “their” asset of a dental practice, and thus are merely fa├žade nominee owners. The DSO controls the bank accounts of the “owners’” clinic bank accounts, which are swept out several times per week, or daily. These are central points in the lawsuit against Dental One Partners, DentalWorks, et al, by 14 duly licensed North Carolina dentists enjoined by the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners, in 2013.2.