By some estimates, 80 percent of American dentists are in practice for themselves.
Their teams often include one or more fellow dentists, hygienists, assistants, technicians, office managers, patient coordinators, insurance administrators, receptionists, and bookkeepers.
Yet an essential team member – an attorney who specializes in health care regulation – is too often absent until trouble arrives.
Since 2006, DOCS Education has provided an estimated $5.2 million in free legal resources to its members, helping them avert trouble before it mushrooms into costly, distracting, entanglements.
One of the most popular privileges of DOCS Education membership is unlimited free access to our full-time regulatory attorney. Members can quickly clarify any questions they have concerning their individual state’s regulations, standards of care, advertising rules, national dental guidelines, and even the CE credits they receive for attending DOCS Education conferences.
Dr. Michael D. Silverman, founder and president of DOCS Education, recently welcomed J. Kathleen “Kate” Marcus, J.D. to the DOCS Education team as the organization’s new Regulatory Counsel.
“It is vital that we have someone of Kate’s caliber in that position,” Dr. Silverman explained, noting that Marcus has a depth of regulatory experience and a proven record of fighting the good fight for her principles and legal underdogs.
Marcus was previously Director of Compliance, Regulatory Affairs & Quality Assurance for National Medical Reviews, Inc. That position was only the latest in a career in health care law spanning decades. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia where she was an editor of the law review and is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.
“As a lawyer, Kate has proven to be an indefatigable advocate for patients and their access to affordable healthcare,” says Dr. Silverman. “She has represented survivors of domestic violence, children in foster care, and special needs children, all populations that benefit greatly from sedation dentistry.”
Marcus, herself, has been standing up for her principles since she was in elementary school and spoke out on the hot-button issues of the time. So Marcus is unafraid to speak truth to power, even if that means positions taken by the powerful American Dental Association or the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
In addition to serving DOCS Education members, Marcus serves as a liaison to all U.S. regulatory boards, as well as regulators in 10 Canadian provinces, representing and defending the interests of sedation dentists and their patients.
Experience demonstrates that regulations governing the same general practice of sedation dentistry can vary widely from state to state and province to province. Beyond that, even in cases where the regulatory language appears the same across several states, the interpretation of the rules can vary widely.
Keeping track of all the regulatory and guideline developments, advocating for dentists and their patients, and responding to specific inquiries is a large undertaking, Marcus acknowledges.
“Serving as regulatory counsel for DOCS Education is a big challenge and it’s full of possibility,” Marcus says. “DOCS has already done so much for its members, but so much more remains to be done.”
Marcus works from a DOCS Education satellite office in Philadelphia and attends all major DOCS Education conferences, where she is available without appointment to meet face-to-face with members.
[If you are not already a DOCS Education member, joining our community of dentists at the forefront of the profession is simple and affordable. Click here for more information or to become an instant member.]