FTC Opposes Newly Proposed Rules Governing Dental Service Organizations
TAB in Agreement, Declares Rules Anti-Competitive
AUSTIN, TX (Oct. 10, 2014) – The Federal Trade Commissioner’s (FTC) Office of Policy Planning has issued a comment letter in opposition to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners’ (TSBDE) newly proposed rules 108.70 and 108.74 to the Texas Administrative Code.
The letter, which was highlighted in a recent press release, urged the board to reject the proposed rules that could restrict Texas dentists from entering into contracts with non-dentists for the provision of non-clinical, administrative services – citing dental support organizations (DSOs) as an example.
The FTC states, “We have consistently maintained that the choice of business model is an important dimension of the competitive process that should not be restricted by regulation or private agreement but based on reliable evidence that regulation is reasonably necessary to achieve an important public purpose.”
An additional concern of the FTC is that competition in the health care sector will be significantly reduced if such rules are passed. The commission requested the TSBDE “carefully examine the proposed regulations to determine if they are based on credible and well-founded safety, quality, or other legitimate justifications…otherwise, such restrictions can be expected to inhibit competition, increase prices, and decrease access to dental services.”
Furthermore, the commission supports the DSO model for providing access and reducing costs in underserved markets where the impact of these restrictive initiatives would be the greatest.
Business leaders have also voiced their concerns, including Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond, who submitted a letter to the board publicly denouncing the proposed rules. In it Hammond highlighted how the rules would effectively “shut down a successful free market that has for decades helped dentists operate more efficiently and lower the cost of dental care for Texans.”
The Federal Trade Commission and the Texas Association of Business don’t always see eye to eye, but they are in congruence that the proposed rules TAC 108.70 and TAC 108.74 are anticompetitive and bad for the future of Texas.
Visit the Texas Coalition of Dental Support Organizations website for more information. TCDSO supports dentists in the efficient delivery of affordable, high-quality dental care to more than a million Texans annually. Texas dentists have contracted with TCDSO members for more than 30 years to provide non-clinical administrative support services, including facility maintenance, supply procurement, scheduling, accounting, and marketing. These services enable dentists to spend less time handling non-clinical administrative duties and devote more time to the delivery of affordable, high-quality dental care to patients in their communities.
For more information, contact Jeff Tieszen
512-585-8728 / Jeff@influenceopinions.com