Las Vegas Tribune
A fighter for Medical choice announced his candidacy over the weekend for the Mountain’s Edge and The Highlands district. Doc Phil is a guy who knows how to roll up his sleeves; he proved it with his victory over fraud and corruption at the Nevada Dental Board, a four-year battle that ended last week in justice for his small business. The rebel dentist earned the badge in his fight for civil rights due process with the Nevada Dental Board, whose entire Board was excused last week by Governor Sisolak.
In 2016, a self-pay patient with 14 teeth came into the practice for a cleaning. He negotiated a reduced fee with kind-hearted Doc Phil, who determined it had been decades since the patient, desperate for service and cleaning, had other dental issues, due to chronic lack of adult hygiene.
The cleaning for the amount paid, $155, generally takes 30 minutes. Normally the level of cleaning needed would have cost $500-$700.
Throughout the cleaning, the patient attempted to bite, strangle, and was physically reactive to all the work being performed, which made the process nearly impossible. The patient was advised he was a candidate for sedation dentistry, but he claimed he didn’t have the money required for the sedation. Although the cleaning was completed
without sedation, the patient ultimately filed a complaint against him with the Nevada Dental Board for an alleged failure to provide proper professional service.
The dental board sanctions in this case and likely many other cases are the reason why complaints are up but sanctions involving the board are way down. The Board has developed a process of stipulation, a mandated pay-for-play program. Some in legal circles have called it extortion. The Dental Board pounced on the opportunity with a
stipulation fee of $5,700.00.
In order for Dentists to avoid having their license revoked and their livelihood shattered, they are given a coerced stipulation, ‘pay now or face likely suspension of your license, or expulsion’ in an open hearing. What has resulted in the lack of due process means there has been no transparency or accountability where stipulation funds end up
or even the justice of the system.
The Dental Board has five days to respond to requests, but no one has been able to explain why all the Dental Board members were excused from their positions by the Governor last week, and current legal counsel Melanie Chapman is leaving next month. This is on the heels of reports legal counsel Hunt who has yet to repay the excess fees collected under NSBDE President Blasco, who allegedly defrauded the board in her complicity to allow Hunt’s fees to go unpaid.
One can plausibly surmise a likely reason the Dental Board is Director less is that the corruption is as wide and as deep as a D.C. swamp.
NSBDE’s failure to act in compliance with its established statutes and regulations, licensees’ denial of due process rights in NSBDE’s
disciplinary process, and other issues about which LVDA, led by Doc Phil, has been shaming the board for the past four years, includes violating civil due process rights.
According to World Health. Net, Blasco, as NSBDE President, failed to hold legal counsel Hunt accountable for his over-billing of legal fees and costs in excess of the “not to exceed” maximum in Hunt’s contract and demand that Hunt repay the excess $250,000 he received in violation of his contract. This is in addition to Blasco’s continuing support of a disciplinary system established by Hunt whereby employees, agents, and non-Board members conduct investigations and informal hearings without Board Member involvement and in violation of NSBDE’s own regulations.
Former counsel Hunt regularly interjected unfit and irregular comments into the public record for proceedings casting shadows of doubt on the dentist’s delivery of care. He continually demeaned normal practices and procedures of dentists performing quality patient care with tricks of the trade as irregular or ill-intentioned, according to the reports against him. The fraud committed by unjust stipulations could run into the millions, if an audit is ever completed.
Doc Phil finds solutions LVDA is the lemonade from the lemons of solutionist Doc Phil. In an interview, he stated, “Those who are struggling won’t be alone in their journey.” He continued, “I came to the country with $15 in my
pocket, and worked my way up. Because I had a dental degree, I was able to earn a living,” which is why he supports merit immigration. He believes we can find a way together to fix our problems with readily available solutions.
Doc Phil’s solution at the Dental Board is to implement an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution Program) similar to other states. He statistically compared the preferential treatment of the Nevada Dental Society members to non-members. To have progress, we must have fairness. A society for the people with unjust administrative processes by governmental interference keeps good practitioners from performing good works because it defiles the individuals’ rights to secure a livelihood.
Doc Phil states, “Ultimately, patient’s costs for health care would be reduced, since practitioners wouldn’t be passing along insurance and other costs, such as payment of fees into their billing costs.”
How Does ADR Work?
The mission of the Board should be public safety, and the ADR would help us get there, says Doc Phil. The model calls for a mediation to reach a settlement with neutral parties, and also would award the patient directly if a wrong should need to be righted. The process is quick and everyone can continue on with their work.
A mediator will work with you and the dentist to simplify the issues and help you reach a settlement that is agreeable to both the patient and the dentist/hygienist.
The facilitator is a neutral person, not a member of the Dental Board staff or Board committee. The Dental Board pays for any reasonable costs and expenses of the facilitator.
ADR is much faster than the complaint process and is a form of honoring due process. There is usually less correspondence and documentation involved. If the ADR process does not result in a negotiated settlement, your complaint may be processed through the normal complaint process. The ADR can also logically apply continuing
education of dental professionals and protecting the rights of both.
Requests by the Las Vegas Tribune for a report of the dispensation of fees received by the Board have been submitted. We’ll follow up with the answers of where stipulation money is distributed in our next article.
Denise makes the disclosure, she has joined the campaign of Doc Phil.