The North Carolina Senate agreed on a compromise in dental legislation approved by the House regarding Senate Bill 655, a controversial bill aimed at tightening rules on dental management organizations in N.C.
The newly compromised legislation will require the State Board of Dental Examiners to adopt rules giving greater regulatory oversight of the contracts that dentists reach with the management companies in the future.
Part of the measure will require dental management contracts to include warnings encouraging dentists to obtain legal advice before signing them.
The compromise between the parties involved was reached after months of negotiations involving lobbyists, political leaders, and heavy spending on TV ads. Other states with similar dental management organizations have been watching how North Carolina would rule on this bill.
The Senate hopes the bill will clarify the existing dental law in N.C. and reduce litigation with the state dental board, which currently reviews all dental management contracts that dentists sign in North Carolina.
However, the bill still neglects to state exactly how dental management agreements would be scrutinized further.
A six-member task force, which includes two representatives from dental management companies, have been selected to make recommendations to the N.C. dental board, but the board still doesn’t have to follow their recommendations.
The task force is an attempt to ensure proposed rules will promote dentistry and alternate business models within the industry, according to Tom Fetzer, a former Raleigh mayor, ex-state Republican Party chairman.
The legislation is due to be signed by the N.C. Governor this week.
What are your thoughts on Senate Bill 655 and what has happened in North Carolina?
For more on this story see: NC Dentist Group, Office Managers Reach Agreement