Robert A. Johns, DDS
Editor`s note: The following portion of a letter appeared in the January issue of Dental Economics:
On another topic, I found the juxtaposition of Dr. Jorge Pinero`s article ("The Rehabilitated Practice" in the October 1999 issue of Dental Economics) to be truly ironic. To rehabilitate a practice at the expense of the 1,500 HMO, PPO, and Medicaid patients he dumped over 18 months is abhorrent. He might well have considered treating at least a few of them.
Dr. Pinero responds:
I want to thank you for reading my article. I can see by your response that you completely misinterpreted my article. What I spoke of is a choice we all can make, if we want. We do not have to be under the stronghold of third-party payers. When more dentists tighten their belts and stand up to third-party abuses, the system will change.
What the article does not mention is that I treat a considerable number of charity cases each year. Those people I choose to treat are the ones who value quality dentistry but do not have the means to have it done. I don`t feel any one of us is morally or ethically obligated to treat people if their treatment is against what we stand for, or their third-party payer wants to railroad us into inferior, compromised dental care.
When a person is no longer hungry is when he can feed the most people in an honest and charitable way.