The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) recognizes the responsibility of the dental profession to the public for a dental health delivery system that includes a mechanism to evaluate dental care. Peer Review is a public service demonstrating that the profession is concerned about the care it provides and has taken the initiative to correct problems that arise. It is a dispute resolution program for resolving a difference of opinion between a dentist and complainant, when differences cannot be reconciled on a direct basis between a dentist and other interested parties.
The Peer Review process is a privilege of membership. Therefore, non-member dentists are encouraged to join the Association if a complaint is presented.
There are Peer Review Committees in each of the seven geographic districts in Minnesota. Committees are made up of at least three peers, one of which chairs the committee. Committees attempt to resolve differences, clarify areas of misunderstanding, educate participants, and establish or re-establish communication between involved parties. Volunteer members of the committees are impartial and strictly follow the principles and policies of the Peer Review Policy Manual.
Complaints initiated by patients are screened by the appropriate district office and a Complaint Form is sent to the patient. Once this is received by the Peer Review Committee, the dentist is informed and given the opportunity to respond. Once the response is received, a mediator is assigned to the case.
The mediator will contact both parties and help to mediate a solution. If no solution is reached, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled and both the dentist and patient will have an opportunity to present their respective cases.
The Peer Review Committee will evaluate all information and formulate a decision based on facts and findings in the case. Member dentists are obligated to follow the decision of the Committee. Non-compliance with Peer Review Committee decisions are referred to the Association’s district or state Ethics Committees.
Decisions can be appealed by either party to the MDA Peer Review Committee.