Thursday, December 30, 2004

Heartland Dental Care - A Dissent Part Two

There seems to be information coming forward about Dr. Rick Workman and Heartland Dental Care. There are dentists who do not think their method of practice is the best. I welcome comments from Heartland or other dentists pro and con.

From the internet:

On December 29, 2004 at 11:42:47 PM 'fldmd' posted....

Here are some answers to your questions. Yes sir, my office collected 1.57 million Dollars not Pesos. I work 4 days per week 9am to 5pm. But that is nothing dollarwise compared to heartland's Dr Shanteau, by the way he was a super nice guy. He does $200,000 plus per MONTH mostly on IN medicaid in the middle of nowhere and had great team of assistants who could fill the fillings and help him do a lot of dentistry. How do I do it? I spend a lot of money on my: 1)CE and now I am a practicing MAGD, 2) technology (lasers, 2 cerecs, LVI, implants etc etc), 3) and a beautiful 10 chair (7 equipped) practice. I am in a growing area and see on average 80 plus new patients a month. Unfortunately, my state does not see the wisdom of allowing my assistants to place any of my fillings as Indiana does so I do them. I do not have to do any external marketing only internal marketing and do not participate in PPO's or HMO's or state programs. I went to several successful private practices around the country and spent many hours of time talking with those dentists and staff to find out what they did. Now, I am doing it. Anybody can. In response to the comment on my alphbet fillings from Joe. The alphabet fillings were on senior citizens with limited income. You all have them in your practice, older people who just want functioning restorations. Yes, I informed them of the options of onlays and crowns, but they did not have the finances to choose those treatments. That was considered just an excuse by their senior lackey "bulldog." How are you Bulldog? I still do three or four surface composite restorations on people who cannot afford other dental treatment options that cost more. Do you turn them away? Joe, I hope not for their sake. The month I was in trouble for not diagnosing 70% periodontal disease on my patients was the month the medicaid program kicked. They have specific benchmarks for all dental procedures and I was not in the "Thriveing office" category that month and the vast majority of my new patients were kids. And as you fellow dentists know, juvenile periodontitis is not a prevalent condition found in children. You may find higher incidence of gingivitis in that population group, but you cannot pull out the periodontal diagnosis if it is not there and all the associated treatment plan items they want you to sell like Rotadents and 500% marked up mouthwashes that were not any better than listerine. By the way, when I was there they also gave credit for anything the assistant did to the company and did not pay the doctor their 25% of x- rays, whitening kits etc. etc. I got reamed by Rick Workman for saying that they were operating under our licenses and therefore we desevered to be paid the 25% of the those procedures because if we were not there none of those procedures could be done. You do not ask questions in front of other dentists at their giant pep rallys. You are to follow the rules. Ask questions and you are a TROUBLEMAKER. Other doctors were glad I asked the question they just would not vocalize the question. They did not like the answer either by the way. And while I was there, I was one of their top 15 producing dentists according to their own statistics that came out every month and their "check it out" fax that comes to your office every day to tell you how the best offices did the day before in collections and production and performance by individual doctors. I think they put out that propaganda every day to spur on the younger dentists to try to beat each other and create competition. Did I forget to tell you all about the former dental assistants who come to your office and critique your diagnosis. Some of the younger dentists may be intimidated and stand there and listen about how they should have treatment planned this or that all the while chafing about a dental assistant telling them how to do dentistry and treatment plan more expensive treatment options. But,I did NOT care for it probably because I was older and had practiced for a while and alas again I was branded a TROUBLEMAKER even warranting another call from the big kahuna himself. I had this self-confessed "ex"-hippie with long stragly hair come to my office to evaluate it and "fix it". After a couple days of not improving the collections like she should have been doing, she decided to critique one of my treatment plans. I told her I did not remember her being in my dental school class and until she graduated dental school, passed two national board exams, and passed a state dental license exam she could limit her comments to the business side of the practice. That did not make her happy so she complained all the way up the corporate ladder and that is when I decided to leave that place. I should have done it a year earlier. But better late than never they say. In response to that guy's comment that I have a beef with Heartland. Yes, you could say I have about 26,000 reasons to have a beef with Heartland. Other dentists from my dental school told me that they were not paid on money collected after they left. So, it was not a complete surprise. My lawyer said they had been sued before and would drag a lawsuit out over a long time and I would have to come back to the area for court dates and since I was moving anyways I listened to his counsel. Live and learn. Sa la Vie. Yes, I posted my comments several times because other doctors considering working for them should know they are not always what they seem. And the only positive comments are coming from currently employed dentists who have not been there very long and really buy into that "You can't make it on own" garbage they exspouse at every CE event or "giant brownnose the big kahuna pep rally day" a.k.a corporate meeting or dentists who NEVER worked there and are HYPNOTIZED by the big kahuna or various heartland low level employees trying out brownnose each other in hopes that one of the senior lackeys or maybe even the big man himself will read their post and then they will get a star on their forehead and move up another level.... There are always diferent views and this one desrves to be heard and if a young doctor decides to go to work for them after reading this post at least he or she knows a little more than I did when I decided to work there Yes, It is true they will fire dentists for not producing a lot of dentistry. Just ask Chad. Chad Thompson, "senior lackey" ( glad you read my post Chad) and Heartland Human Resource Manager. Chad, do you remember firing that late term pregnant dentist down south back in 2000 who sued you and got her job back. Why she wanted that job was beyond me unless it was.... the health insurance maybe that was it. Did you have to hire back her mid term pregnant hygienist you let go as well?.. All in the name of shaping up that office. Or did you settle?... That office was only doing about half what the other ones were doing which is pretty good. You see, other people don't get to hear this side of heartland. and chad, I earned my MBA while at IU, so none of "your" systems were valuable to me. They are common business sales and marketing systems designed for service business, but each dental group goes to the same group meetings and has the same consultants make them a "special" system. I have worked for three different groups and the "systems" are all similar but the difference is the leadership of the organizations. The only thing positive out of my heartland experience was seeing Walter Hailey again. I knew of Walter Hailey from Harbourside dental group back east before I went to Heartland. He was a great guy and had good courses. I am sure Steve is still doing a fine job. Any more questions??


  1. Anonymous7:13 AM

    When you pin requirements and quotas on patients, a lot of unnecessary work is being done. A lot. Millions of dollars worth of unnecessary work. If dental offices are kept small, we won't have this problem.

    It's not patient health that heartland cares about, along with the other big chains, it's profit. That's it. Teeth are $$$ to them. Bastards - They're killing the profession.

  2. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Hey, another ex-Heartland doctor employee here. I am being super harrassed by the home office over several issues. Does anyone have the names of the attorneys that helped Lori Jamison ?? It may be time to turn up the fire on those bastards. Can anyone say "class action" ?

  3. Anonymous5:20 PM

    I happen to be a former admin and everything you all are saying about HDC is true and there is much more that they illegaly do
    to harass ex-employees and they are also into threatning them with
    lies to try and get them to be quiet, i think that the heat should be turned up and i would love to light the match!

  4. Anonymous6:14 PM

    WOW! This is my first time researching the company I work for. I've started piecing the puzzle together recently when they started harrassing me after I told them I was pregnant. I have had all perfect reviews from them and have even been selected to train new BA's, but suddenly I'm being asked if I'm ready to find a new job weekly along with all the lies they try to pin on you. Good to know I have support out there as I thought this cult mentality they have adapted was a figment of my imagination.

  5. Anonymous3:38 PM

    I would also like to say that I have worked for Heartland and they are joke!!! They try to talk patients into unnecessay work and are overpriced!!! They do NOT have the interest of the patient at heart, either! It's all about the money and to see what Dr. can have a million dollae Dr. practice for the year!!! I have never seen a crown put on without a root canal being done first, hmmm think about it just because you have a crown done doesn' mean you need an RCT, and I have never seen some of the deepest occlusal flgs that turn into RCT!!!

  6. Anonymous6:25 PM

    I know people that work there and can confirm all that has been said here. They practice the sea gull management style. Swoop in, poop all over the place, and fly off. How can you set goals on the number of crowns to be done per month? Is that legal?

  7. Anonymous2:17 PM

    I had the misfortune of being referred to this practice several years ago. The guy, a snake oil salesman smoother than any chiropractor you'll find, told me I needed $25,000 in restorative dentistry and that my fillings (I have two) had mercury which could cause very serious health consequences. Trouble is, what this quack did not know is that my brother is one of the biggest oral surgeons in Toronto. I was stuck in Flora, IL (which makes Mayberry RFD seem like Las Vegas) and cracked an incisor. I knew within ten seconds that this practice prays on the "salt of the earth" and local yokels who, generally speaking, have few alternatives. I had my brother try to call the dentist about 4X but the guy never returned my brother's calls.

    Luckily I found an excellent oral surgeon in a nearby community from whom I sought a second opinion. I told him of my experience and he did not say much (I could tell he was a true professional) but he gave me a look as if he'd heard it all before.

    Sad, sad, sad. I guess the reward for being stuck in dismal seepage is the unfettered opportunity to rip off those who entrust the practice with their care, dumb as that indeed proves to be

  8. Anonymous10:06 AM

    I have an issue that has bugged daughter was a patient of Heartland Dental in Effingham and she had to have a front tooth worked on...they said she needed a root canal. Which she had took a very long over 2 hours to was extremely painful for my daughter....she said in terrible pain the whole time....two days after the root canal her face started to swell on that side. She went back and had it looked at that day and the dentist was concerned about what he seen and said to come back the next that time the whole left side of her face looked like she had been hit with a ballbat. The dentist seemed panicky and had an oral surgeon come in and look and they had to immediately send her to the hospital to have infection drained out of her face. She had to tube in place for over a week and the whole thing was a mess. Whats your thoughts on this ...any comments or advice?

  9. Anonymous5:22 AM

    Hey, another ex-Heartland doctor. I would to put out a request to all ex-heartland doctors. If each one of us would go to our dental school we graduated from and share our experiences with them, we could deter other new doctors from getting used by HDC. If you have contracts, your school would love to see those as well. For HDC to thrive, they must hire many new doctors each year. Let's hit them where it hurts!

  10. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Hi I left a post about ex HDC doctors to contact their dental schools that they have graduated about their experiences. I have not seen my post. Could someone tell me why?

  11. Anonymous7:56 PM

    I am a former HDC employee. I worked for a doctor that has a story similar to yours. He was not going to compromise his ethics and morals to say "Yes" to his patients and treatment plan based on dollars! His demise with Heartland was when he reported an associate doctor for unethical behavior. He was paid back by being fired because he wasn't in "alignment" with HDC systems. This was probably the best thing that could happen to him. The associate still works for Heartland. As for me, I also reported him on numerous occasions but to no avail. I was told by my Practice Admin. that "if I wanted to keep my job, off the record, when you work for a big company like Heartland to keep my mouth shut". She even "swore on her dead fathers grave" that she believed me but there was nothing she could do about! I too have had some threatening letters from Mr. Thompson. Just another bullying tactic in my opinion. Without seeking legal counsel, at the very least, former HDC doctors and employees should report Heartland to their local board and tell anyone that will listen about them!

  12. Anonymous9:05 AM

    I was terminated for not calling my practice administrator on my approved leave of absence...or at least that is what they told me...I have an opinion on why I was fired it happened after it was brought to my attention that the dentist was charting simple extractions as surgical. I was appalled..I was always told to charge out what is written in the chart (I was a business assistant) when I told my practice administrator what I had found out, I was fired a week later, the morning I came back from my time off.

  13. I have had a terrible experience with a heartland office. I went in for reasonable care and ended up with a dangerous situation. I was told I had broken my tooth when I thought I needed a filling replaced. The "dentist" and I use the term loosely, quickly charged me and sent me out the door with a temporary crown that did not fit as it came off less than 3 hrs later. I choked terribly and swallowed it. I had to contact my physician and then go directly back to the hearland office and have another temporary put on. I was in and out in 20 minutes with something that did not fit and was loose and painful. Thankfully after about 2 weeks of continued discomfort I was able to contact and see a ethical dentist who saw the problem right away. It was plain to see right away there was a large cavity under this thing that was so large it went very close to the nerve. The xrays were also very was a huge problem. The heartland dentist had simpley filed down to the gum and stuck a temporary crown on without any packing at all. She then charged me about 1,200.00 for the mess. I have contacted our insurance company. We have had at least 4 calls from this dentist to our home personally, not to see about my condition but about wanting money and not wanting another dentist to treat the tooth. It is very simple to see why she has now. She knew it was obvious that she did not perform the care I paid for and that she had put me in danger of great harm. Unfortunatly I paid the estimated deductable in advance. I am now struggling to get that amount refunded.
    Personally I live my life a a christian and I will conduct myself responsibly and honesty. But I will not be abused. This is a case of right is right and wrong is terribly wrong. I will file as many complaints as possible, in as many places as possible. I am very grateful for those professionals out there who do not sell themselves out. It is obvious that unfortunatly I was almost a victim of one of the sellouts.

  14. Anonymous3:32 PM

    Are there dentist, not working for Heartland, trying to make as much money from their patients? Answer is OF COURSE! You have to trust your dentist on their morals and ethics before you start treatment. If a group of private practice dentist got a reputation of overcharging or doing unnecessary work, would you brand EVERY private practice dentist as scum??? OF COURSE NOT!!! Always remember that everyone is different.

  15. Anonymous6:56 PM

    How would I file a complaint? I worked for them and do not agree in what the think it right..... So can someone help me figure out what to do from here ?

  16. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Quit if you do not like working for them. Be happy working somewhere else.