Heartland Dental Care has signed a consent order with the North Carolina Dental Board.
The Flap is about the illegal transfer of ownership of a dental practice, owned by a North Carolina dentist, Gary Cameron to Heartland Dental Care in violation of North Carolina law.
Here is the consent order.
And, the two dentists (Dr. Gary Cameron and Dr.Peter Son) involved in the buy-sell transactions were disciplined by the North Carolina Dental Board.
At issue is North Carolina law called the Management Arrangement Rule (MAR) which was enacted by the North Carolina Legislature to protect the health and welfare with respect to the practice of dentistry.
They enacted the MAR to effectuate the Legislature’s mandate in the Dental Practice Act that the ownership of dental practices by unlicensed corporations and entities is prohibited because of the concern that when corporations which are unlicensed to practice dentistry gain improper control over dental practices, patient care may become secondary to profits thereby creating an endangerment to the public.
Here is Dr. Cameron’s Consent Order.
Dr. Peter Son, Dr. Cameron’s Associate accepted an official reprimand from the North Carolina Dental Doard for his involvement with Heartland Dental Care.
Here is the reprimand.
So, what does this all mean?
Heartland Dental Care, a dental management corporation, attempted to purchase Dr. Gary Cameron’s dental practice in violation of North Carolina law. They tried a series of agreements and contracts to skirt the law which prohibited them from a controlling interest in owning a dental practice.
Heartland Dental Care was caught, signed a punitive consent order with a permanent injunction and paid a fine.
Both dentists were disciplined.
In North Carolina, a licensed dentist MUST own and control a dental practice, not an unlicensed, business entity.
And, dentists are on notice, that should they be tempted to engage in business practices of selling their offices/practices unlawfully, they will have their dental licenses at stake and will be disciplined.