August 18, 2014
I am appalled at the letter published in ADA News ("Practice Options
," July 14 ADA News). You have basically allowed corporate dentistry to have a free advertisement in the ADA News.
There are many facets to the corporate dental model, most of which have been not addressed by the ADA. This has led to this stress commonly shared by our membership and needs to be a priority at the next House of Delegates meeting. The ADA needs to review and establish ethical protocols to deal with young vulnerable doctors who are employed by these corporations, and set standard for patients' continuity of care and practice models, as these entities become more commonplace in our profession.
Dr. Cushing was reaching out to other dentists who have a similar set of circumstances having to deal with the stress of paying for the high cost of the education to be a doctor and the high costs of the overhead and bureaucracy of being a dentist. The time has come for the ADA to help member dentists deal with these stressful situations that have become increasingly mainstream in our profession.
We need to look at how we can control the costs of education, bureaucracy and the equipment necessary to become a dentist. The corporate model is not the alternative for conventional private practice in that it deteriorates the profitability of the dentist, the continuity of care and the accountability dentists have for their patients.
Steven A. Sax, D.M.D.
The ADA 2013 Current Policies includes guidelines for employers in their working relationships with dentist employees or independent contractors (Statement Regarding Employment of a Dentist, Page 189). The ADA Center for Professional Success offers strategies for potential employers and employees in understanding the provisions and key legal terms of employment agreements. The article, Employment Agreements: The Devil's in the Details
is available at Success.ADA.org. The ADA Health Policy Institute also has a research brief
identifying and describing six types of group practices.