Dentist Quotas? No Way, Say Dentists

Dentists oppose patient quotasDentists were not happy about Invisalign’s rules for dentists, but fortunately, Invisalign dropped its dentist requirements mandating patient quotas in order to offer the popular alternative to braces.

But New York state reacted with proposed legislation to ban dentist treatment quotas. Though the bill does not identify Invisalign by name, it would prohibit manufacturers from setting dental patient quotas for dentists who wish to offer the manufacturer’s product.

So we asked dentists if they thought their state should pass similar legislation. In response, 60% said yes, manufacturers should not be permitted to set quotas. But 40% said no, legislation is not the answer.

Here are some comments from dentists:

  • “We have too many laws already. Invisalign has already been punished by losing sizeable market share. This is the way capitalism and free markets are supposed to work.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “Invisalign can do whatever they want. It’s a free market. Besides, I do orthodontics and don’t even offer Invisalign to my patients because there are better alternatives for both patients and dentists such as braces and Inman aligners.” (Alaska dentist)
  • “Good grief. When is ‘regulation’ the answer? As dentists, we are where we are due to the fact that we are the smartest and brightest. Act like it! You’ve got a brain, use it.” (Texas pediatric dentist)
  • “Quotas are inherently morally wrong. It implies treatment planning to meet contract obligations and not patient needs.” (Florida dentist)

Read more – Dental Patient Quotas: Dentists Favor Legislation Banning Treatment Restrictions

Dentist Treatment Options: Patient Quotas

Last year, we discussed how New York state was opposed to patient quotas for dentists in the article, Dentist Treatment Options: NY Opposes Patient Quotas for Dentists.

Dentists and dental associations were outraged when Invisalign announced that dentists would only be able to offer the orthodontic treatment if they began at least 10 cases per year.

Though Invisalign ultimately withdrew this controversial “provider requirement” (read about Invisalign dropping dentist requirements), the backlash kept on coming.

Many were horrified by the idea that a manufacturer could prevent a dental practitioner from offering a treatment modality to their patients.

New York was so disturbed by this precedent that Governor David A. Paterson signed into law, Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2010, a bill that “prohibits corporations and manufacturers from setting quotas on dentists who use the corporation’s product or service.”

The bill essentially states that a manufacturer may not set quotas on dentists who wish to use the manufacturer’s product. Here’s the text of the New York state legislature bill:

“The commissioner shall promulgate regulations to require that a manufacturer or other entity selling, leasing, or otherwise providing any drug, device, or health care service shall not, directly or indirectly, establish as a condition for the use by a dentist of such drug, device, or health care service that the dentist meet any quota for the number of patients on whom the dentist uses the drug, device, or health care service and that a dentist shall not, directly or indirectly, request or receive from any manufacturer or other entity a drug, device, or health care service having a condition that the dentist meet any quota for the number of patients on whom the dentist uses the drug, device, or health care service.”

The bill, A.10943/S.7614, was sponsored by Richard Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee, and Carl Kruger, chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill was passed and signed into law even though there was strong lobbying against it.

I want to hear your thoughts. Do you feel that other states should take the same action as NY? Are you dealing with any companies who have established a proficiency quota?

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