The Oregon Board of Dentistry is notifying dentists that running Groupons and other daily deals may violate rules against “unprofessional conduct.”
From the board’s Web site:
!!NEWSFLASH!! Internet Coupon Advertising!!! Please Read!!
The Board has recently become aware of different companies soliciting Oregon licensees to enter into contracts for marketing and promotion services between the licensee and the company to promote voucher systems for potential patients. The Board has preliminarily determined that these may violate the unprofessional conduct rule OAR 818-012-0030(3) which prohibits offering rebates, split fees, or commissions for services rendered to a patient to any person other than a partner, employee or employer.The Board suggests that until this can be fully reviewed by the Board, licensees proceed with caution and if they feel necessary seek legal counsel on this matter or contact the Board office at (971) 673-3200.
Earlier, Oregon’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners is forbidding Groupon-type deals, saying they violate fee-splitting arrangements. In a July letter posted on the board’s Web site, it says “Groupon-type fee splitting arrangements are still prohibited for chiropractic physicians.”
The letter goes on to say that LivingSocial has changed from a fee-splitting arrangement to a flat fee for marketing.
While I’m generally a fan of consumer-protection rules, I don’t believe these rules fall into that category. I think they just prevent competition and are anti-consumer.
That said, the rules are the rules. Local services are a quagmire of regulations that further strain the business models of Groupon, LivingSocial and other deal companies.
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In a bad economy the healthcare practitioner can’t do anything to help his/her own business to thrive. They can’t even help poor consumers that have lost or reduced income and possibly little to no insurance. It’s a shame! I don’t utilize groupons or coupons for my business or personally but, if this is a marketing strategy for others, then let it be. The only people that have a REAL problem with it, are those dentist/providers that even in a bad economy don’t want to compete with a (gr)(c)oupon, they just simply want to continue to charge patients OUTRAGEOUS fees for the same service they well know the patient could get cheaper. These “Sons of Sam”, are not in the real world, and are totally unaffected by the economy. They just cry and call the Board and “sic” them on other professionals/competition like a Big Dog. Live and let live!! Weiners and Whiners!!!
I’m not against groupons and coupons. It does help with marketing strategies and business stuff. But with
lexington dentist clinic they haven’t tried it before and I think I will tell them about this. Not just for marketing strategies but also to help encourage people to make oral health awareness be on their top lists.