Showing posts with label Bloomberg Reports on Private Equity driving patient abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloomberg Reports on Private Equity driving patient abuse. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Morgan Stanely’s Reachout Healthcare Mobile Dental Clinics continue breaking new rules put in place to protect children from their abuse of children

I realize it’s hard to believe someone, i.e. R. Kirk Huntsman, convinced Morgan Stanley that driving up to schools, sending criminally incompetent dentists and employees inside to zap them with as much radiation as possible, restrain children and perform dental procedures with or without consent, then bill the taxpayer was a great idea. But it happened.

Below is an update on the lawsuit filed by Darren and Stacey Gagnon on behalf of their son, who was traumatized by Reachout Healthcare mobile dental clinic employees in Arizona. Imagine the stuff that was too “hot” to include in the following piece.

WATCH this video!

Don’t forget to comment here and over at My Fox Phoenix here

PHOENIX – December 3, 2012

myfoxphoenixAs we first reported back in June, a mobile dentistry operation is being sued by an Arizona family. They allege their special needs son received unnecessary dental work at school.

Tonight, we revisit the Gagnons, to see how their son Isaac is doing, and update a case that may have already forced the state to make changes in the way dentists do business.

The first time we met the Gagnons, Isaac was kept from our cameras because they might scare him.

This time, we got a chance to watch Isaac color a picture for his friend's birthday party.

Isaac gets night terrors after what happened to him.

"He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder… he was a very fragile emotionally child in the first place," says mom Stacey Gagnon.

Fragile in the first place because Isaac was adopted after surviving severe shaken baby syndrome.

"He was horribly injured as an infant including five skull fractures."

But Isaac had come a long way with the Gagnons.

"We saw this little boy emerge who loved tractor trucks and run and play in the dirt."

That ended about a year ago.

"October 4th, Isaac was seen by a dentist at school," says dad Darren Gagnon.

A dentist from Big Smiles, a part of Reachout Healthcare America, treated Isaac inside his school's art room.

"He says you know the dentist man got me… we didn't know what had happened."

Reachout paperwork in Isaac's backpack showed the boy had been given two pulpotomies - or baby root canals - and 10 X-rays. Something his parents say they never approved. Isaac's mother called Reachout for an explanation.

"They told me it was a training error on their part," says Stacey.

Everything the Gagnons allege is part of this lawsuit they filed against Reachout, Big Smiles, and two dentists.

It alleges among other things, battery, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and racketeering.

"We found out from the school they had actually held Isaac down for somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 45 minutes, that they physically restrained him to do the work on him because obviously he was in a lot of pain," says Darren.

The two dentists named in the lawsuit include Doctor Ralph Green who works at Reachout Corporate offices in north Phoenix -- and Doctor Alvin J. Coon, who performed the work on Isaac.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can someone be paid to be a jumping up and down idiot? Yes! Here’s proof.

If Pigs Could Fly And Dental Professionals Could Be Turned Bad By Private Equity Investment
Thomas A. Climo

On May 30, 2012, provided an article written by Donna Domino, features editor. It was titled “Private equity firms eye big profits in dentistry.” Ms. Domino was the second journalist to reach out to me that month. The first was Sydney Freedberg of Bloomsberg, whose piece was “Dental abuse seen driven by private equity investments” on May 16.

Both journalists were nice, courteous, and consummate professionals. I want to make clear that although I believe I was very helpful in providing them with data and insight from my consulting of both group and solo dental practices, I did not say one negative word about private equity investment into dentistry.

A third journalist, Josh Kosman of the New York Post, will confirm this, even though he also wrote an article with the provocative title that replaced an “S” with a “$” entitled “Private equity firms $ink teeth into dentistry,” published August 27, 2010.

The exaggerations contained in all three articles tying private equity investment to bad dentistry are only anecdotal, and not supported by serious statistical numbers.

But…but…but “Equivalent PhD, Climo, you said, and I’ll quote:

“…private-equity firms are likely to work dentists longer once they take over practices to boost profits and that could lead to worse service.”


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Inside Edition airs the Isaac Gagnon story and the dangers of mobile dental clinics.


msMorgan Stanley, the true backers of ReachOut Healthcare America and their nasty mobile dental dungeons have been on this site several times the last few days. So has their PR people. Are they worried?

Shocked is more like it. I’m told their attorney’s about flipped, when they saw their RHAemployee, Dr. Alvin Coon, DDS attempt to hit the reporter with his car. I guess someone failed to mention that to them. Wonder what other surprises are in store.

Features the parents of little Isaac and the nightmares which haunt him; the mean dentist who “got” Isaac - Dr. Alvin Coon attempting to run over the reporter: and an Interview with the Gagnon family’s attorney, James Moriarty.

If you have inside information, are an ex-employee - like the one in this story- who wants to stop this child abuse or a parent whose child has suffered at the hands of these Mobile Dental vans, please email me. Surely we can stop this child abuse together.

Here is Inside Edition’s report:

INSIDE EDITION Investigates Mobile Dentistry
Aired September 11, 2012

Inside EditionIt sounds like a good idea - mobile dentists sent to schools to provide dental care for needy children in classrooms and school parking lots. But some families are now crying foul, saying their kids were harmed by dentists drilling for dollars.

Darren and Stacey Gagnon say their four-year-old son Isaac was given two baby root canals and two steel crowns by a dentist bigsmilesscheduled to visit Isaac’s school after the school contracted with a company called ReachOut Healthcare America.

What’s worse, say the Gagnon’s, is that the dentist, Dr. Alvin Coon (who they never met) performed the operations without their consent in of all places - the school’ art room in Camp Verde, AZ.

“I couldn’t believe that they were doing these procedures in a classroom,” said Stacy Gagnon.

She also says Isaac was never given any anesthetic or medication to numb the pain.


Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dental care in America: A study in austerity, neglect and profiteering


Dental care in America: A study in austerity, neglect and profiteering

By Gary Joad
1 September 2012

A Frontline production on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) aired in June documented the painful and ill experiences of millions of working class families and their children, the disabled and poor, and retired persons as they seek dental care in the United States.

In the opening scene of “Dollars and Dentists,” hundreds of people with jaw and tooth pain form long lines in the early morning freezing rain of southern Virginia, seeking relief from a volunteer dental clinic. Most patients declare on camera that they are often too sick and sore to eat, and that they are compelled to live with pain every hour of their lives.

As the clinic’s Dr. Terry Dickenson states at the program’s beginning, “Gas, food, and rent compete with dental care for the dollars these persons have.”

Washington, D.C. resident Vanessa Nations, 31, reported that she had been significantly ill with dental and gum infections for many years, until her problems became so severe that she needed all her teeth extracted. She commented, “I feel like little bits of poison are killing me.”

She could not eat sufficiently, and therefore could not maintain a normal weight. Virtually all her teeth were chipped, broken off, and discolored. Poignantly, she brought a smiling teenage photo of herself to show the dentists how she wanted to look again, as they planned the removal of her ruined teeth and the manufacture of her dentures.

Monday, August 13, 2012

ReachOut Healthcare America–Big Smiles Mobile Dental Clinics are a danger to public health! Another example!


ReachOut Healthcare America under fire again. When will those who can, do something?

Though no name of the company operating the mobile dental clinic is mention, it is ReachOut Healthcare America, based in Farmington, MI.

ReachOut Healthcare America is under investigation by Senator Charles Grassley’s office. (see letters Sen. Grassley has sent to ReachOut on the right)

If you work or have worked for ReachOut Healthcare America and do nothing to protect people like Andrew in this story, or little Isaac in Arizona it’s your duty to speak out. Please do so, everyday children, the handicapped and the elderly are being abused! Do something! I beg of you!

To WOOD – TV News 8:

What was the point of this story by WOOD-TV News 8 if they wouldn’t mention the name of the company?  Why did News 8 leave the investigation of this company out of the story? It’s your duty as well to warn the public that a company owned by Morgan Stanley is doing this to the most vulnerable people in America.

If I weren’t posting the name, right here, right now, no one would have a clue what company did this to Andrew. For God’s sake people, wake the hell up, get off your butts and speak up!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Small Smiles Dental Changing It’s Ways… HA! –that’s what they said the last time they changed their name, and the time before that and the time before that…

Small Smiles is saying it’s changed it’s ways, I beg to differ, since we’ve heard that before…several times. This company has been under the watchful eye of government regulators since 2007, when the investigation first began. Can you get your head around the fact they have not changed their ways in 5 years!!!!
It’s changed it’s name a few times, but not it’s ways!
Struggling dental chain looks to mend its ways
By Rob Goszkowski, Assistant Editor
July 4, 2012 -- Church Street Health Management, a private-equity-backed company managing 63 dental centers under various "Smiles" brands in 21 U.S. states, has emerged from bankruptcy with new owners, a new identity, and a new strategy for staying in the dental game.
Now going by the moniker CSHM, the company has a history of legal problems that forced it to file for bankruptcy earlier this year and prompted additional federal scrutiny.
For example, in January 2010, while still known as Forba Holdings, the company paid $24 million plus interest to settle allegations of Medicaid fraud with 22 states and the U.S. Department of Justice. The fine resulted in part from a policy of "converting" patients, whereby dentists were systematically urged to perform additional procedures and the number of procedures performed was tracked.
Read the rest over on Dr. Bicuspid

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bloomberg reports on Private Equity Dental Chains thus far in 2012


bloomberglogo To READ:
by Sydney Freedberg -
  • Dental Abuse of U.S. Poor Dodges Ejection from MedicaidJune 26, 2012
    The latest from Bloomberg demonstrates how the OIG is still turning it’s head to the child abuse for fraud, at Small Smiles Dental Centers. This one is outrageous. They ask CSHM to put the clinic in the name of a third party. Well, according to CSHM sworn testimony on numerous occasions, by various Small Smiles Executives they don’t own the clinics. Their mantra is that they only manage them for already third party dentists. The take away is  that the OIG. HHS and DOJ are fully aware (how could they not be) that the true owners of these houses of horrors is CSHM and it’s Private Equity backers. They must simply give them a wink and a nod to falsifying documents, committing fraud, and perjury, just to name a few illegal acts. These would land you or I in jail, by the way.  I don’t know what else a person could think. Do you?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Bloomberg’s Private Equity in Dentistry Series Gives New Meaning to “Drill Baby Drill” for 2012 Republican Campaign

May 16, 2012
By Sydney P. Freedberg

Dental Abuse Seen Driven by Private Equity Investments

May 30, 2012
Republicans Target Dental Bill That Private Equity Hates
By Sydney P. Freedberg and Jason Kelly - May 30, 2012 11:01 PM CT

The likes of Jeb Bush, William Frist, Tommy Thompson and Haley Barbour aren’t typically heard from in the office of Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Yet the four Republican Party stalwarts, none of them a Carolina resident, have contacted Tillis’s office over a little- known bill to toughen state regulation of dental companies. They’ve been joined by Grover Norquist, the Tea Party favorite and anti-tax crusader who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform.

“It’s not terribly common to have these types of names” intervening on a state bill, said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for Tillis.

Their interest marks the Tar Heel State as the front line in a national struggle over dental management companies. Fueled by Wall Street money, at least six such firms are under scrutiny by two U.S. senators and authorities in five states over allegations that they soak taxpayers through excessive Medicaid billings, abuse patients via needless treatments and run afoul of laws that say only licensed dentists can practice dentistry.

READ the entire article on BLOOMBERG

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American for Tax Reform promoting Private Equity’s take over of your dental health.

As Bloomberg report in “Dental Abuse Seen Driven by Private Equity” as has pointed out, this is NOT a good idea. All American’s should be fighting this issue and support North Carolina’s Senate Bill 655.

ATR is demonstrating the lengths the Private Equity firms will go to in order to line their pockets with your health and health care dollars. These dental management companies could care less about your dental health. But they certainly care about the creative dental care they can deliver to you, your children, your family, and your elderly.

Here ya go:


ATR Urges North Carolina Legislators to Reject Anti-Free Enterprise Protectionism

North Carolina is one of the top battleground states for the 2012 election. Ads are already flooding the airwaves from Cape Hatteras to Cashiers and, with the DNC being held in Charlotte, the state is expected to become a political fever pitch over the next few months.

A major topic during the campaign season will be the policies that President Obama has signed into law, such as the 20 tax increases in ObamaCare alone, that will drive up the cost of health care. Indeed, Republicans who hope to pick up three congressional seats in the Tar Heel State will make this a major theme of their campaigns. Yet, in order for North Carolina Republicans to avoid muddling their message and contradicting themselves, Republican state legislators would do well to reject Senate Bill 655, legislation currently pending in the General Assembly that would drive up the cost of dental care for North Carolinians.

Yesterday, Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to all members of the North Carolina House, urging them to reject SB 655, legislation that uses the power of government to stifle competition and drive up consumer costs:

21 May 2012

Dear legislators,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), I write today urging you to reject Senate Bill 655. If passed, this bill would add onerous new regulations restricting the ability of dentists in North Carolina to engage in free enterprise and administer their practices more efficiently. Simply put, this bill is an attempt to use the power of the government to eliminate competition. The effects of SB 655 will harm consumers and taxpayers in the state by limiting access to care, restricting competition, increasing costs, destroying jobs and discouraging investment.

It does NOT add “new” regulations. It further defines regulations already in place, because the Private Equity firms have found, and sometimes created loop holes  with direct access to your dental health.

As it stands, North Carolina faces a shortage of dentists, ranking just 46th nationally in dentists per capita, based on data from the American Dental Association (ADA) and US Census Bureau. The result is less access to needed care and higher costs. Dentists in North Carolina earn 25 percent more than the national average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Who said there is a shortage of dentist? ADA? Seriously!  WTF! The ADA is in bed with the Private Equity firms! Google Dental Group Practice Association and the ADA. The ADA is allowing the president of the DGAP to host and sponsor simanrs to “sell their snake oil.” Various heads of the ADA are owners or partner in the Private Equity owned changes of dental clinics! What does preventing Private Equity and Hedge funds from deciding the treatment your dentist delivers have to do with the above? Nothing!

This costs North Carolina consumers over $250 million more in additional costs every year, with the effects being the same as that of a hidden tax: increased costs and less disposable income for the citizens of North Carolina. SB 655 would exacerbate these current problems.

Tell us exactly how the above is true? Because the ATR says it is? I say it’s BS. ATR is making this a political issue as if your dental care depends on whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. This is ridiculous.

Given the rising costs of health care across the United States and the resulting burden on employers and taxpayers, states should look to promote more efficient models of delivering healthcare. SB 655 would prohibit dental practices from contracting with Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), which allow dentists to focus exclusively on providing care, resulting in both high quality care and lower costs for patients.

More outright bullshit! DSO’s are owned and operated by Private Equity firms and they could care less about your dental health! These rules were put in place to protect the public and NC is trying to continue to protect the public.

DSOs do not own dental practices,[choking and gagging on this one, pure lies, let’s put a couple of these fake owners in front of a grand jury and see if the DSO’s own the clinics or not, I dare someone to do this one.] and the Dental Board already has the regulatory authority required to ensure that all dentists deliver high quality care to their patients, irrespective of how they choose to contract for administrative services. This is a broadly accepted model utilized by many other medical professions, including emergency room physicians, oncologists, anesthesiologists and hospitalists. In a recent statement, the ADA wrote: “States should implement administrative reforms to cut red tape that impedes dentists from delivering care and patients from receiving it.” SB 655 flies in the face of this advice.

What red tape? Go to school? Pass a test? DEA paperwork? Hell, why require any of this, since it appears this is too much red tape.

As the John Locke Foundation noted in its analysis of SB 655, North Carolina lawmakers “should be looking at ways to expand dental care in North Carolina, not restrict it. If a management company is interested in assuming purchasing, billing and administrative duties and a dentist wants to spend more time on patient care, they ought to be allowed to work out whatever arrangement works best for them.” ATR agrees whole-heartedly with this astute assessment.

While many in the dental industry support SB 655, many other dentists, consumers, taxpayers, employers, and investors in North Carolina would be harmed by this legislation. Rather than consider legislation that stifles competition and drives up consumer costs, North Carolina lawmakers should instead be looking for ways to make the state more economically competitive.  As such, I urge you to oppose SB 655. If you have any questions, please contact ATR’s Patrick Gleason at (202) 785-0266 or   


Grover G. Norquist [head idiot in charge]

Read more:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bloomberg article on private equity firms abusing children with unnecessary and intrusive dental treatment has spurred several articles on the web

Here are some highlights:
Bloomberg – Business Week

Deal Book – New York Times:

San Fransisco Chronicle

BoingBoing 40 comments or more:

Compliance Search


Physicians for National Health Program


Global Post


Watchdog Bytes

Huffington Post


Meta Filter



Protect Quality Dental Care

Bangor Maine Daily News:

Charleston Daily Mail

Democratic Underground

Summary of Twitter links:


Happy Birthday to me… Happy Birthday to me….

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Private equity, profits and aggressive dentistry


Global Post

Bloomberg has published an article today that you just have to read.

It starts with a mom in Arizona picking up her (sobbing) 4 year old after school, only to learn that a dentist had installed steel crowns on two of his back teeth — "pulpotomies" according to a note in his backpack. Baby root canals.

The mother hadn't even been consulted. "I was absolutely horrified," she said.

No, this wasn't Marathon Man for toddlers. So why this aggressive act of dentistry?

It was about money. Profits. Private equity. And a new plague known as "dental abuse."

Bloomberg explains:

Isaac’s dentist was dispatched to his school by ReachOut Healthcare America, a dental management services company that’s in the portfolio of Morgan Stanley Private Equity, operates in 22 states and has dealt with 1.5 million patients. Management companies are at the center of a US Senate inquiry, and audits, investigations and civil actions in six states over allegations of unnecessary procedures, low-quality treatment and the unlicensed practice of dentistry.

ReachOut, Bloomberg reports, is one of just 25 dental management services "bought or backed by private-equity firms in the last decade." The management services take care of the business side, leaving the dentists to focus on teeth. The trouble started when the profit-driven businesses began seeing opportunity in your tax dollars: Medicaid.

Maybe that's why there's a big cavity in the US government's budget?

A former physician once counseled me that dentists were "a bunch of crooks, out to get rich." At the time, I took that with a grain of salt. Thanks to Bloomberg, I won't even floss without exercising caution.

Click here, and read on

And if there's a dentist nearby, keep your mouth closed.