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« Follow Up to King 5's News Story on WDS »

Via WDS's Facebook page, CEO Jim Dwyer apologized to WDS member dentists stating that his remarks in King 5's investigative news story were taken out of context. His apology is below.

Message from Jim Dwyer, CEO:
You may have seen the KING TV news report on May 10, 2012 about Washington Dental Service. I can certainly understand that my comments may have upset some member dentists. Please know that the clips of me were taken from a highly edited interview. Working more hours is one of many strategies dentists are employing to cope with a changing market place and the depressed economy.
I respect and value our member dentists, and I know they are dedicated to providing quality care for their patients. I apologize for the context of the statement.

On behalf of its member dentists, WSDA posted the following comment on King 5's page referencing this story:

Mr. Dwyer’s comments that dentists should “start working five days a week” to make up for the reduction in reimbursement were outrageous and  disrespectful, displaying ignorance on what it takes to run a dental practice. In addition to seeing patients, most dentists spend many hours managing the administrative responsibilities of owning a small business and work to stay current with the technical and scientific advancements in dentistry.  We are disappointed that the CEO of the largest non-profit dental insurance company in the State doesn’t understand these basic fundamentals of operating a dental practice.
-Washington State Dental Association

Reader Comments (7)

I recently read the remarks given in response to the WDS CEO's comments on King 5. I feel it fair to let him know that in all reality most doctors I know have had to extend their hours. In the case of our office we have been working six days a week for the past two years until 7 pm at night just to make up for the difference in reimbursement and the economy. I understand that he may feel that way, but he should have kept those comments to himself.

05.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For many practices such as mine I do not have the option to add more hours for the number of patients available to me that can allow me to keep my business going are not there. The choices are slow death with WDS (always reimbursing at just my overhead level) or death by not having enough cash flow to cover the overhead.
EK Sakai

I am the CEO of a relatively large network of dental providers. Our dentists work an average of 38 hours a week chairside and many more hours completing paper work. What Mr. Dwyer seems not to understand is that you can't make up lost production by completing more procedures at a loss. He actually has it backwards, dentists should work less to cut their losses. The fees WDS has offered does not cover overhead. This reminds me of the old movie War Games. The only smart move is not to play at all. I do however get a kick out of Mr. Dwyers remarks because I'm amazed by how flexible the old guy is to still be able to get that foot in his mouth. Good luck everyone and don't accept this type of behavior, we aren't.

Mr. Dwyer you have misrepresented honesty and integrity several times in the course of a minute interview.I can't imagine which member dentist was not upset by these comments. Please write in if you are a member dentist who was positively affected by Mr. Dwyer's statement that we need to work harder and start by working 5 days /week. I also am disappointed in him when he states in his apology that it was taken out of context and edited when in fact it wasn't as this raw footage shows. This is an obvious mis truth stated to mis lead us member dentists to think he didn't say this. Mr. Dwyer is bullying member dentists into membership by insensitive statements such as these and others , such as member dentist would be in violation if we agreed to not see WDS pts for a period of time at a specific date so that subscribers would be aware of the unfair conditions WDS is imposing on member dentists. I would love to work 4 days per week if there were paying pts to see however there aren't enough paying pts in this area to work more than I am and pay staff,ect. to operate the business. As such his general statement is very, very wrong and again is misleading and inaccurately creating an image to the uninformed that not working more is a choice and not a market reality for most of Washington's dentists. My cut by WDS is 22% across the board. That is my profit before tax ratio for 2008, 2009, before the WDS reimbursement cuts. I would like to share my realities as a member dentist with others and help subscribers understand the true issues, facts and realities so that they will make a different subscribing decision. How much better do you perform when you work for free? For less? With an insulting or degrading CEO? With deliberate misrepresentations of your job? The most experienced dental staff are now facing unemployment and less expensive and less experienced staff are being hired in WDS member offices across the state. This is resulting in a less quality product for WDS subscribers. I know first hand that WDS subscribers are not recieving as high quality care as they did prior to June 2011. Other insurance groups pay my prevailing wage and their subscribers are continually recieving higher quality care that they are paying me to deliver. You definetly get what you pay for and WDS reductions are proof of that.

05.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjason

My dentist and his team work hard and provide excellent service. Their office hours are extensive. This CEO needs to have his foot removed from his mouth by a qualified dentist (if he can find one willing to work on him) and then he needs to offer his resignation. He gets paid a lot of money and yet he doesn't have a clue how his membership works? That's a glaring sign of an overpaid, under-informed, under performing employee. Time for him to consider his other options.

05.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDental Patient

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