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Be Leery of the Corporate Practice

For many years, and in most states, ownership of dental practices has been limited to those who hold dental licenses.   The major exception is clinics which operate under nonprofit status.  Not for profit clinics have a governing board and receive federal reimbursement to cover the expenses they incur allowing them to focus on Medicaid patients and offer fees with sliding scales based on patient income.

State Dental Boards have been around since the inception of dental licenses. They exist in every state and serve to protect the public from malpractice, but more importantly they protect the practice of dentistry from corruption.  An early mandate included not allowing any corporate control of the dental office.  Outside investors had proven to be detrimental to the practice of dentistry.  Dental offices and Hospitals under corporate control were quickly becoming cash flows for investors.  Both State Medical and Dental boards quickly passed legislation almost unanimously in every state to bar the ownership of both dental and medical offices.  The purpose was to protect the public from unnecessary treatment guided by investor interests and also protect the integrity of both professions.

Unfortunately, the rise of the corporate practice has reared its ugly head again.   Dental practices are being bought and built under the ownership of FOREIGN INVESTMENT GROUPS!   A change has occurred in the last few decades such that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun treating dental offices like business and not medical providers.  Although state dental boards have existing laws opposing ownership by investment groups, the FTC in its infinite wisdom is helping to challenge these laws.

Be leery of the corporate owned practice.  When profit margins are funding investors and dentistry becomes open to the global investment market, the bottom line is not healthy patients.
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