Showing posts with label Comfort Dental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comfort Dental. Show all posts

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Franchise or Ponzi Dental Scheme? — Comfort Dental

In an Affidavit filed this week in the Bahr brothers (CDMO & CDET) v. Rick Kushner and Comfort Dental lawsuit reveals the abuse and threats that reign down from Kushner and other Comfort Dental executives.

Louisville, Colorado Comfort Dental subfranchisees were berated, threatened and assessed $50,000 penalty for failing to use Budget Dental Lab dba Premier Dental Lab owned by Rick Kushner—owner of Comfort Dental, Inc.—and his brother, Barry Kushner, along with Roy Martin, C. Michael Bloss, Bruce Irick and Neil Norton.

“We would order an appliance from the non-Comfort Dental lab because quality was much higher and much more reliable.”

“In some cases costs were higher when using a non-Comfort Dental lab, but we felt it necessary to serve our patients’ best interest.”

“Comfort Dental assessed a $50,000b out-o-system lab referral penalty on us.”

“…after having been summoned by Rick Kushner, at a meeting at the Comfort Dental headquarters in Lakewood, CO… we (the partners of Louisville (CO) office were admonished by Rick Kushner and about the franchise violation, use of an outside lab. Immediately thereafter, Rick Kushner announced that a $50,000 fine was being imposed on our office/partnership. The entire sum due and payable in 2 weeks.”

Friday, May 09, 2014

Partners Uncomfortable at Comfort Dental; patients caught in the crossfire.

In an article on Dentaltown, dated October 2012 Comfort Dental founder, Rick Kushner said: -

“Corporate dentistry scares the hell out of me for two reasons: first, whether they get their money from the public or from private equity, corporate dentistry will always have only one priority: demonstrate more profit. (By the way, Comfort Dental has only one original money source: me. Oh and a couple of local banks. Of course, every single Comfort partner is equity invested in his/her own Comfort partnership.) And secondly, as a dental “chain” we are unfairly lumped together with corporate dentistry by ignorant dentists including DSIs (dental school instructors) and of course, some patients. Structurally and philosophically we at Comfort are as far from corporate dentistry as traditional private practice. Had the profession listened to me instead of attacked me over the past few decades, the professional landscape would be saturated with Lean & Mean group type practices so prosperous that there would have been neither need nor room for corporate dentistry. So again, how did corporate dentistry happen? It’s dentists’ fault. It’s DSIs (dental school instructors) fault. It’s not my fault; it’s their fault. Dental practices were so bad for so long with their 80 percent overheads and their hygiene-heavy practices that businessmen in business suits looked at them and instinctively knew they could do better and keep the difference in profits. And guess what? They were right. Businessmen in business suits looked at dental practice and knew they could handle our business better than dentists. So they did. Not my fault. I warned dentists but they were smarter than me. Graduates laden with debt and corporate dentistry are a match made in heaven. “

I would agree with 90% of that statement.

However a Complaint filed March 25, 2014 in Colorado US District Court accuses Comfort Dental of “exerting excessive and improper control over medical decisions and judgment of dentists practicing in Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana” appears to indicate Comfort Dental is more “corporate” than Mr. Kushner likes to think. 

A Brief filed with the Compliant, seeing an Injunction against Comfort Dental  states:

“Comfort Dental’s illegal conduct exposes Plaintiffs to immediate and irreparable harm. Comfort Dental’s demands that the Plaintiffs participate in the MLRP (Mandatory Lab Referral Program) and sell the Gold Plan (unregistered discount medical plan) force Plaintiffs to make an impossible choice: lose their 25 year franchise or violate the laws of multiple jurisdictions.…it impermissibly interferes with, and exerts control over, dentists’ independent medical judgment and forces Comfort Dental dentists to place the financial interests of Comfort Dental’ s owners over the best interest of their dental patients…threatens irreparable harm by threatening to terminate Plaintiff’s franchise, and by demanding that they engage in potently illegal conduct which could expose them to penalties, professional licensure actions and damage to their patients relationships and reputations. “

I read this to say, instead of dentists being fired, their Subfranchisee Agreement can be terminated without notice or opportunity to correct problems that may arise.This sounds a whole lot like more like “corporate dentistry” than independent franchise owners to me. As always I could be wrong.

However, before getting into what meticulously laid out in the Complaint and other pleadings, you need to know the players:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Corporate dentistry’s latest attempt to silence critics and trample on the 1st Amendment–Comfort Dental sues professors.

Dr. Melvin Ball is a part time professor at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. In December 2013 Dr. Ball was speaking with colleagues in teacher’s lounge at the university. During the conversation it’s alleged Dr. Ball voiced his opinion and confusion about Comfort Dental’s business model. Outrageous! (sarcasm).  Comfort Dental is also targeting three other professors, Sally Preston, DMD; Thomas Borris, DDS, and James Woolum, DDS seeking $2.45 million in damages.

[My God, where were these campus speech police back in the 60’s.  Berkley would have to close the campus if professors weren’t allowed to voice their opinions!]

Comfort Dental and it’s founder, president and CEO Rick Kushner, feel “they” were defamed when Dr. Ball spoke of his own experience as a doctor of dentistry saying, “I know you cannot provide consistent, quality dental care when all you care about is your bottom line.”

[I use the word “feel” loosely, since I’m not sure how a corporation actually “feels” anything. ]

Comfort Dental is also claiming they suffered damages because Dr. Ball stated he “can’t understand how he [Kushner] gets away with it.” God help those of us who do not hold an MBA! Comfort Dental also claims they suffered damages when Dr. Ball invoked Godwin’s law; allegedly Dr. Ball referred to Kushner as being “like Hitler”.

[Don’t ya wonder who the snitch is or how many there are?  Must be several since they cover the entire campus apparently.  Oh, wait, was all this detail obtained from surveillance cameras?  Wouldn’t that be interesting.  hmm…   That could open up a while new area of law, criminal, tort and “s”ort…]

The complaint against Dr. Preston states she told her class it was typical of Comfort Dental dentist to do shoddy work after of her students related a story from a Comfort Dental patient who had come to the dental school’s emergency clinic for treatment after two trips to Comfort Dental where the patient was less than satisfied and left in pain.

[ I suspect any dental care provided by Dr. Rick A. Kushner would be highly illegal and unethical since his dental license is expired nearly 2 years ago – February 2012.]

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Mexico Dental Board takes it easy on “Comfort Dental”- yet nails their employees. Same for Perfect Teeth and Birner Dental Management

New Mexico Dental Board takes it easy on “Comfort Dental”, yet nails their employees.

Note in each of these it mentions that the “Comfort Dental” clinic is “owned” by the dentist who is being sanctioned. We know that is pure crapola!  The New Mexico Dental board knows it’s crapola too, but does nothing to the corporation, nothing, nada, zip. 

The dentists are always going to take the fall until you guys get off your asses and speak up! Quit taking an oath to tell the truth and lie about your clinic ownership?  I do NOT understand this! I’m baffled every day by it.

What more can I say that will convince you are your screwing yourself, and your colleagues in the ground! Your chosen profession is going to hell, do something for God’s sake!  Do something for the public’s sake!

Comfort Dental Employee Sean S Phelan, DDS Stipulated Agreement with New Mexico Dental Board