DENVER, Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An important vote concerning the American Dental Association's guidelines for dentists who administer oral sedation will take place at the ADA's annual meeting that begins this week in Denver.
TEAM 1500, a coalition of health care providers and others concerned with patients' rights, today issued a statement warning that some ADA leaders are relying on questionable tactics in the effort to influence ADA delegates to vote in favor of the flawed proposal.
Known as ADA Resolution 37, the new guidelines seek to impose severe restrictions on those dentists who specialize in treating fearful and anxious patients. As a result, the cost of basic services, such as semi-annual teeth cleanings, could soar to more than $500 each for millions of patients nationwide, according to TEAM 1500, which conducted a Resolution 37 economic impact study.
"Rather than fairly present the pro- and con- arguments to its members and allow them to make an informed decision on Resolution 37, the ADA's Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL) – which is proposing the revisions – is presenting ADA members with biased, unsubstantiated arguments for its position," TEAM 1500 said.
"Resolution 37 does not protect public safety," explained Dean Rotbart, head of TEAM 1500. "Quite the contrary, it is a severely flawed proposal that CDEL is attempting to railroad through for the sole benefit of a small group of influential dentists who stand to profit mightily if Resolution 37 is adopted," he added.
Rotbart, a former investigative journalist with The Wall Street Journal, described CDEL's "playbook" as "replete with disinformation and tricks that more closely resemble a campaign by corrupt politicians, than doctors and scientists who serve the public and the profession."
Among the misleading tactics employed by CDEL, TEAM 1500 says, is the issuance of an official ADA "FAQ" on Resolution 37 that consistently misstates the scientific justification for the proposal and the impact it will have.
CDEL's official position is, "There is no evidence demonstrating that the cost of care will increase, that patient access to sedation will decrease or that the number of sedation permits will decrease."
Yet TEAM 1500's economic impact study, which was highlighted in two national news releases, makes clear that as many as 50,000 patients – the majority of them from lower-income and minority communities – will stop getting routine dental treatments within the first two years following the adoption of ADA Resolution 37. Within five years, should ADA Resolution 37 be adopted, the number of general dentists who are qualified to provide sedation dentistry to their fearful and anxious patients could plummet by more than 30%, TEAM 1500 found.
In its statement released today, TEAM 1500 contends that CDEL and the ADA have stacked the deck so that those few who support Resolution 37 will have greater access to address ADA delegates attending the annual convention in Denver than those who oppose Resolution 37.
Further, leaked communiques provided to TEAM 1500, including emails, documents, and transcripts, reveal a variety of backroom strategy sessions that have taken place to promote passage of Resolution 37.
"Transparency is essential when the public's health is at stake," Rotbart commented. "CDEL and those insiders who are pushing Resolution 37 have mastered the art obfuscation."
Should CDEL and is supporters succeed in pushing Resolution 37 down the throats of ADA members and their patients, TEAM 1500 said, "It will destroy the ADA's credibility as a science-based, patient-centric organization."
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SOURCE TEAM 1500