James Anderson

Is My Business Ethical?

One year, as a joke, I decided to make a social media post proclaiming my New Year’s resolution. “This year I’m going to do the exact same thing I did last year except I’ll hope for different results.” As you may know, this is basically the definition of insanity. Change nothing, expect different results. It doesn’t work, yet for some reason we try the same thing over and over again. This is particularly true with business as well. We set goals, often monetarily based, without properly laying out a plan of how to change the result we’ve been getting for the last five years. So, what can we do different this year? What I’ve found is that sometimes it’s not about what you’re not doing as a business, but what you are already doing.
For me, when I’m trying to do any business-improvement I like to start with a little google search and see what different industries are doing to keep up with consumers. This process allows me to see trends that are taking place in other fields that might be approaching my field. This action leads me to a lot of positive and helpful things to do to improve my business, but it also leads me to some unbelievable discoveries of what not to do or stop doing as a business owner.
Take for example a dental practice based out of Washington state being accused of requiring employees to re-use disposable Isolite mouthpieces.
Now I know that most dentists and most business professionals want to run honest, ethical, and profitable companies and they take a lot of precautions to protect their business from unethical practices. But occasionally, even the noblest business owners cut corners to save a buck or two. That’s exactly what happened at the practice in Washington mentioned above. After the office manager found out disposable mouthpieces were being reused, she reached out to the company’s compliance officer and tried to get the issue to be resolved. It wasn’t. Instead, the dentist in charge simply suggested in an email to mask the problem when certain dentists (the ones against mouthpiece reuse) were in the office but “then go back to business as usual” with the other dentists in the office. All this scandal for a few extra bucks saved on supply costs. Now this dentist’s name is plastered on the internet, forever associated to that unethical practice to save a few bucks.
Not every unethical practice is a noticeable as cutting costs by reusing disposable and contaminated dental tools, but with a little reflection and evaluation you can save yourself and your practice a lot of misery. Here are a few that biggest unethical practices facing dentists according to Dentistrytoday.com:

  • Marketing that is really just disguised payment for referrals.
  • Gifting items or paying people for positive business reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, or Yelp.
  • Deception about dental specialty,
  • Upcoding (the practice of billing for a dental service at a higher rate than what was actually provided)

The fact that you already use or are considering using eAssist Dental Billing means that your serious about your practices success. That’s why it’s thoroughly important to examine every aspect of your practice to ensure that it’s running as planned and to eliminate any, if even tiny, amount of unethical or perceived unethical practices. Your practice and your financial wellbeing is dependent on your knowledge and skills as a dentist. It would be such a waste to have a whole practice ruined because of a few preventable unethical procedures occurring just to save or gain a few extra dollars.




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