A new year brings new opportunities and challenges. In corporate dentistry, we will see it continue to grow and the dental landscape change.
Much of the nation has watched the launch and rough start of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)*. Whichever side of the aisle you lean toward, the ACA will bring our dental world additional challenges which we must accept, and opportunities which we must seize.
The Challenge – product cost increases
One of the many ACA funding mechanisms is the 2.3 percent medical device tax. The dental industry is not immune to this tax. Dental manufacturers have certain products which are impacted. This tax is on top line revenue, and not on the profitability or the net of a certain product. Manufacturers will most likely pass this increase along to you, the dental practice.
The Opportunity – underserved pediatric dental care
The ACA is now requiring dental benefits for children 19 years old and younger through Medicaid and the state run CHIP programs. It is suggested that 3 to 4 million children will be enrolled in this dental benefit in the next couple of years. Both GPOs and DSOs are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this new influx of pediatric dental patients. If your group is not specifically focusing on pediatric needs, this would be an excellent time to reevaluate this demographic. (The ACA does very little to address the dental needs of adult Medicaid patients except where states offer benefits.)
As the year progresses, feel free to email me and keep me informed as to how the ACA is affecting your group. We will use the input for an upcoming article.
As you browse this issue of Efficiency please check out:
- Driving the Business and Tools for Growth. This article offers some great insight from Rhonda Mullins, a dental industry speaker and consultant who focuses on the business side of dentistry.
- Acquiring a new practice? Stuart Oberman, Esq. runs you through a 13-step checklist.
- Heartland Dental is featured in our Group Practice profile.
- As we begin building our editorial advisory board, please take a moment to read about Jack Allen of Great Expressions, Andy Goldsmith of SmileSource, and Lori Streeter of the American Association of Dental Office Managers.
Happy 2014 and I look forward to hearing about your challenges and opportunities this year in the world of corporate dentistry.