Sunday, August 03, 2014

Another Squabble with CSHM, Small Smiles Dental Centers and Owner Dentists—Small Smiles Reno—Who is extorting who?

I seldom tire of the spin found in legal pleading between owner dentists the illegal dental management companies such as CSHM but honestly it’s getting old.

Now that Dr. Jodi Kuhn purchased her clinics again and seems to have continued with business as usual in Colorado. Another turd has been thrown in the CSHM punchbowl by “owner dentist” Dr. James Mann in Reno, Nevada.  Dr. Mann was hired in October 2, 2006 and I’m positive he can be located as an employee of one of CSHM entities if someone looked.

 Dr. Mann filed suit against CSHM in May 2014.  The case was filed in Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada-Washoe County.  In like fashion, CSHM has filed a Complaint against Dr. Mann and Small Smiles Reno and asked for a Temporary Restraining Order. This was filed filed in Davidson County Tennessee Court on July 22, 2014.

In Dr. Mann’s lawsuit he claims he owns the Small Smiles clinic and is suddenly—after just shy of 8 years of employment—”concerned that CSHM’s heavy-handed control of Small Smiles is violating Nevada’s laws and regulations.”

I find It laughable that Dr. Mann is just now  “concerned”.  The public and government agencies have been concerned since 2004! How does Dr. Mann explain this?image

Mann claims despite all the name changes—FORBA, Church Street Health Management, CSHM, etc.— many of the same key employees have remained as has their illegal business practices.  (Well, of course, thorn is a thorn by any other name.)

Mann says, “CHSM has continued Church Street’s practices” and “Indeed, many of the personnel associated with Church Street continued to work for CSHM

He claims:

  • Dictated the hours that Dr. Mann and Small Smiles should be open for business.
  • Imposed pressure on Dr. Mann and Small Smiles to schedule more patients.
  • Decided which equipment Dr. Mann could purchase for Small Smiles
  • Insisted on certain dental procedures over others
  • Set. Dr. Mann’s compensation.

Here is a statement that raises HUGE red flags and give me great concern:

“Dr. Mann and Small Smiles have consistently performed their agreements with CSHM, and all predecessor management entities.”

Mann says FORBA, Church Street Health Management and CSHM are:

mere shell” …and a “conduit through which each other Defendant carried on business, exercising complete control and dominance of such business to such an extent that any individually or separateness of the corporate or partnership Defendants and each individual did not exist.”

Like somehow it stopped when it hit the Small Smiles, LLC entity where he lends his name. Ha!

The Plaintiffs are left in a Catch-22 whereby Dr. Mann must either (1) deviate from the express terms of the agreement with CSHM and face losing his practice, or (2) strictly comply with CSHM’s instructions and face losing his license.”

Again, it took him nearly 8 years to figure this out!?

CSHM claims Dr. Mann has offer CSHM $150,000 to purchase the Reno Small Smiles.  Ok, actually they call it purchasing contractual interest in the Management Service Agreement (MSA) but we know that is code of “the clinic”.

CSHM says that is “egregiously low” and Dr. Mann is trying to force CSHM into accepting a “low ball” bid.


CSHM claims Dr. Mann and Small Smiles Reno owes them $250,000.00 in back management fees. (Seriously, STOP LAUGHING!!) Yes, you are reading that correctly. CSHM must have failed to sweep Small Smiles Reno accounts the last couple of months.

They say in February 2009 Small Smiles Reno entered into a MSA with FORBA Holdings, LLC and that FORBA Holdings is an “unrelated predecessor to CSHM”.

Dr. Mann and Small Smiles have pursued a course of conduct designed to frustrate, impede and delay CSHM’s efforts to sell its inters to another party.”

What interests?  Management Service Agreements?

“…an injunction is necessary to compel Defendants’ cooperation with CSHM’s efforts to provide suitors with relevant financial information pertaining to the dental center, in turn, this will enable CSHM to continue its efforts to solicit competing bid.”

Bids for what? Management Service Agreements?

“The purported basis for Defendants’ actions is a “concern” that CSHM’s provision of services pursuant to the MSA violates Nevada law.  But the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners conducted a thorough investigation of the MSA and opted not to take any action against it.”


“During that investigation Small Smiles’ own attorneys repeatedly asserted that the MSA was enforceable and consistent with Nevada law in every way. But Dr. Mann and Small Smiles are now changing their tune…”

Wonder how Small Smiles called up attorney Neil Krugman,and said, hey, come represent me? Oh, wait, Krugman works for Waller Lansden, CSHM’s law firm! 

Yes, there is a whole heck of a lot of “tune changing” going on; sometimes from paragraph to paragraph!

A former employee said this in 2011, “You know that Neil Krugman was at Waller too, right?  He was the one that was trying to help with the NY Medicaid mess.  I changed tax id’s and owners for that place twice while I was there under Mr. Krugman’s direction.”

“On August 1, 2009, Dr. Mann purchased Small Smiles for a mere $100.00…”

“At the time of the purchase, Small Smiles owed FORBA several million dollars in unpaid management fees and net cash advances made to Small Smiles by FORBA.”

Now if Small Smiles is some kind of humanoid, would it not be illegal for Dr. Mann to purchase it? I didn’t know we could buy and sell people in 2014, did I miss something? Call me crazy, but I doubt I purchase anything that owes someone several million dollars.

“The MSA requires Small Smiles to “fully comply” with certain federal programs pertaining to the quality of care provided at dental clinics under contract with CSHM, including a January 2010 Corporate Integrity Agreement between FORBA and OIG.”

Interesting new twist on actual facts.  Just a few months ago, CSHM issued a statement that said they were the only ones in violation of the Corporate Integrity Agreement and their Exclusion from Medicaid for 5 years, had nothing to do with the Small Smiles clinics…and I quote, The notice of exclusion does not apply to any individual employee or the Dental Centers and Practice Owners, but to the CSHM, LL corporate entity only.









So what’s the big deal, CSHM? You implied the Corporate Integrity Agreement had nothing to do with the clinics— only your piss poor management services—now you are having a cow. Why? Dr. Mann is willing to pay you an additional $150,000 for a business he already purchased for $100. That is not exactly what I would consider “low ball”! You don’t own the clinics, Mann does, he thinks you suck, move on, right. Awe, but it’s not that simple is it!

I’m not sure who the biggest idiots are here. Unless its anyone that believes all this bull.

CSHM is claiming Small Smiles of Reno—the company they control and have complete access to all revenues owes them $403,459.00—and “has for several years”—and they want it right damn now.

They claim when Dr. Mann purchased the clinic for $100 from Dr. Riki Lambert. At the time it owed CSHM $4,407,583! But being the kind hearted place they are they reduced their management fees especially for Dr. Mann to a mere $40,000 a month. Now, I’m guessing that amount owed was where the clinic fell short of “budgeted” quotas when under the “ownership of Dr. Riki Lambert. (Lambert went on to be “owner dentist of Boise, Idaho)

Seriously, you can’t make this up!

Five things are for certain:

  • The Abbott & Costello bit “Who’s On First” legal strategy is still the path most traveled.
  • The Small Smiles clinics are the “redheaded stepchild”. (apologies to redheaded stepchildren everywhere!)
  • Waller will go out of business if CSHM ever crumbles.
  • Owner dentists can be found on CSHM payroll report.
  • Charlie Sheen and Denise Richard’s divorce was a cake walk compared to the mess CSHM created for themselves.

Ask a DeRose; they sold the clinics.

Ask an investor; they bought the clinics.

Ask a president who owns the clinics; they do.

Ask an owner dentist if he owns the clinics; he says no.

Ask a lawyer; what ever works this week.

Let’s face it, CSHM has but a few weeks left to “milk the cow dry” before it must close up shop, even thought I fully expect just another name change, maybe a couple of top executives changed (or maybe just their name too) and business as usual. I guess time will tell.

Frankly it looks to me like CSHM is trying to extort money from Dr. Mann and Dr. Mann is offering CSHM $150K for his freedom from oppression.

So, you want to be an “owner dentist” for a private equity backed dental management company? Are you sure?

James L. Mann v CSHM Complaint – May 23, 2014

CSHM Memorandum In Support of TRO – July 22, 2014

CSHM v Small Smiles and James Mann Complaint – July 22, 2014