DrBicuspid.com Business & Industry Insider

Dear Business & Industry Insider,

A growing number of private equity firms are investing in dental management companies, which in turn oversee large group practices. But with several corporate chains being investigated for Medicaid fraud or financial irregularities, critics are calling for more regulation, citing unnecessary procedures and quotas for dentists. Read more.

Meanwhile, the ADA and its state chapters have become major players on the U.S. political scene, spending $39 million since 1999 to influence lawmakers and legislation, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. The spike in ADA spending on lobbying efforts took a noticeable jump in 2008 when healthcare reform became a major topic of discussion in the presidential primary campaigns. Read more.

In other Business & Industry Community news, dentists in New Jersey and Connecticut are the latest to face reimbursement reductions from Delta Dental, which will cut reimbursements 4% to 5% in 2013. Delta Dental cut reimbursement rates for Idaho and Washington dentists last year.

In M&A news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired OraPharma, the maker of Arestin and other oral health products, from Water Street Healthcare Partners for approximately $312 million. The deal marks Valeant's first foray into the dental market.

And Glidewell Laboratories will complete its purchase of IOS Technologies early next month, a deal intended to help the companies expand into what they consider the future of dentistry: complete chairside restorations.

On the legal front, Guidance Endodontics may have won its breach-of-contract lawsuit against Dentsply International in 2009, but the company is now suing the law firm that represented it in that case, seeking $148 million for alleged malpractice.

Finally, the Eco-Dentistry Association has launched High-Time for High-Tech, an educational campaign to help connect dentists with the latest and most innovative technology available in dentistry, while also helping them to run a more efficient, state-of-the-art, eco-friendly dental practice.