It happens, even in the best dentist-patient relationships.
About once a week, the Kansas Dental Association receives a call from a patient who is unhappy with the dental care he or she has received from a dentist in Kansas. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of misunderstanding the billing process or simply frustration in how the patient felt they were treated by the dentist or staff. But many patients do have a complaint about the quality or appropriateness of the care they received from a dentist.
That’s where the KDA’s Peer Review program comes in.
“Peer Review is a simple and easy way to settle differences between a dentist and patient without the need for attorneys or the legal system,” said Dr. Ron Wright, who has served as the KDA’s Council on Peer Review Chairman for nearly fifteen years.
In its simplest terms, Peer Review is a voluntary program in which the KDA’s Peer Review Committees reviews the reasonableness of fees, quality of care, utilization of services and appropriateness of treatment.
“We listen to all the complaints that come into our office,” said Greg Hill, Assistant Executive Director of the Kansas Dental Association. ”I take those calls and will try my best to direct the patient either to our program where we can help or to the dental board if it is something that involves issues of a disciplinary matter.”
The Peer Review Committee explores all matters referred to it and does so within a period of time that makes its efforts effective and expeditious. It is the obligation of the Committee to conduct unbiased and objective hearings. The Committee has an equal responsibility to all involved parties.
“Peer Review does work,” Wright said. “It is important and it can help a patient who has had bad work done. It can also work from the dentists perspective when they have done good work, but the patient may have unrealistic expectations with the treatment they were to receive.”
Each district has it’s own peer review committee which is responsible for mediating the cases and then, if mediation is unsuccessful, will schedule and hold a peer review hearing.
For more information on Peer Review or to file a peer review case, visit our Peer Review page on our website.