There are certain things that simply don’t feel like a good fit for the cut-rate offers found on daily deal sites. Getting a deal on Botox injections, rhinoplasty or breast augmentation is not the same as getting half off on a dozen cupcakes and in my opinion does not instill confidence in the doctor or other practitioner that offers the service.
Now Align Technology, a medical-device company known for their work in the invisible-orthodontics market, is suggesting that providers of dental services need to consult with a lawyer before deciding to offer a deal on Invisalign treatments to determine the potential legal risks involved.
Apparently there have been several complaints from Invisalign customers stating that the use of daily deal or group buying sites does not serve the best interest of the patient and is unethical and demeaning to the dental profession.
“We agree,” wrote Dan Ellis, vice president of North America sales for Align. “In fact, Align does not endorse the arbitrary sale of dental services and Invisalign treatment through social coupons and is not a party to any such offerings.”
Ellis added that the interests of the prospective patient as well as the practitioner need to be protected by a patient exam to determine the suitability for the treatments.
“Because both your services and each Invisalign treatment are unique (like the needs of each patient), we do not believe that either are appropriate for the Web-based, group-buying social coupon process,” he wrote.
Ellis also pointed out that laws in most states prohibit fee-splitting by practitioners with third parties or non-practitioners and that there is a growing concern that offering deals for such services on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial and sharing the proceeds may constitute fee splitting.