Around the Web

DSOs vs. Texas’ Corporate Practice of Dentistry Doctrine: What You Need to Know

The Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPOM) is deeply rooted in Texas law. But the Corporate Practice of Dentistry similarly provides that “a person may not practice dentistry without a valid license issued by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. The Texas Dental Practices Act sets forth several categories of activities that constitute the practice of dentistry. For example, a person who owns, maintains, or operates a business which engages another person to practice dentistry – under any type of contract or arrangement – may be considered as engaging in the practice of dentistry.”

Like in the medical context, DSOs are often to allow unlicensed persons to share in the revenue of the dental practice.

As Keith Lefkowitz, Hendershot Cowart, P.C. points out:

In 2015, the Texas legislature passed a law requiring Dental Support Organizations to register with the state annually and provide “the name and business address of each dentist in this state with which the dental support organization has entered into an agreement.” 

The Secretary of State shares this information with the State Board of Dental Examiners, allowing them to monitor which practices are receiving services from a DSO. 

As a result, it is imperative for licensed dentists to ensure that contracts and arrangements for business support services comply with state law and TBSDE rules and regulations, especially the Corporate Practice of Dentistry doctrine.

This type of registration system is not required for MSOs, Management (or Medical) Services Organizations. MSOs are very common in the medical industry, but, in some contexts, have been abused.