Wash. dentists outraged over insurer's comments; AMA defends NC dental board

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Dentists across Washington State responded angrily last week to disparaging comments about their work habits made by the CEO of Washington Dental Service (WDS) during a TV interview.

Among other things, CEO James Dwyer suggested that dentists affected by the insurer's most recent reimbursement rate cuts should work more than their "typical" three-and-a-half days a week. In a follow-up Facebook post, however, Dwyer apologized for the "context of the statement," saying he could understand how his comments may have upset some dentists but that the interview was "highly edited."

But the Washington State Dental Association and other groups say Dwyer's response fell far short of an apology. Read more.

In other news, the American Medical Association (AMA) last week filed a legal brief challenging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) antitrust action against the North Carolina dental board regarding the regulation of teeth-whitening providers. The FTC order could impede state regulation of the practice of medicine, with a "devastating impact" on public health, according to the AMA.

Meanwhile, a cosmetic dentist in California whose ads boast of treating movie stars and sports celebrities has paid more than half a million dollars to a patient who sued the doctor for malpractice -- one of six such lawsuits filed against her in nine years. Click here to read what prompted the litigation.

Over in the Cosmetics Community, our Leaders in Dentistry series showcases Dr. John Sullivan, immediate past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, who shares his thoughts on the economic recession, teeth whitening in malls and salons, and whether dentists should be allowed to administer Botox.

And in his latest Beyond Practice Management column, Dr. Don Deems offers a step-by-step plan for addressing some of the most common practice-management challenges, from eliminating interruptions to learning how to delegate and schedule more efficiently.

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