In this issue of Efficiency in Group Practice, we focus on organic and affiliate growth for DSOs and groups. We provide valuable suggestions, strategies, and input from dental’s largest DSOs: Heartland Dental, Benevis, Great Expressions and Aspen Dental. Aspen explains how to grow organically, while Heartland and Benevis discuss their success with affiliation. Great Expressions focuses mainly on affiliation, while filling in strategic locations with de novo practices. Whatever your growth strategy, you are bound to gather some excellent information to help you reach your goals in 2015.
With growth comes challenges. While money is certainly not an issue, finding qualified solo practitioners to affiliate with or work for DSOs can be tricky. A major issue hindering group growth is the recent bad press and some legal issues that have arisen. This only fuels the perception (I would say misperception) among dentists and the industry that the growth of DSOs and groups is a negative thing. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, perception is reality. This holds true in dental, and there are now dental marketing companies and group purchasing organizations whose focus seems to be helping solo practitioners compete against “evil corporate dentistry.”
As you read our article on growing your DSO, please take note that it is not just about picking the correct location for your de novo offices or affiliating with the highest producing solo offices. Dental Support Organization growth also needs a strong voice to educate the industry and the nation as to the direct benefits for patients and practitioners. Groups and DSOs are providing patients’ access where they had none, while also providing them comprehensive, necessary care at affordable prices. Without the distractions of managing the practice, DSOs can help dentists focus on the clinical aspects of their profession so they can provide the best possible care.
The ADSO and Dr. Quinn Dufurrena are hard at work traveling the country and educating the dental community and legislatures on the benefits of the DSO models. We have a full report on Dufurrena’s book, Transforming the Cottage Industry. The Rise of Dental Support Organizations. This book will help educate the industry and the public on the importance and purpose of DSOs and group practices.
No matter what growth path you are on, this issue will help guide you in the right direction.
Enjoy your summer of growth,