3 roadblocks DSOs face, per dental execs

Three dental executives offered their perspectives on the biggest challenges DSOs are facing today, from misinformation to obstacles to growth.

These leaders each answered: "What is the biggest challenge DSOs are up against?"

Editor's note: These responses were edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

Kristi Crum. CEO of Rock Dental Brands: One of the biggest challenges that we face is the misinformation that is out in the market about DSOs. It's important for providers who are considering joining a dental group to understand that all DSOs are not the same. Many providers think that by joining, they will lose their autonomy or that it's only an option for retiring doctors. At Rock Dental Brands, we were founded based on the principles of clinical autonomy and we partner with doctors throughout all stages of their careers. Our doctors can decide how much they want to be involved in the back-office and administrative functions. They are provided top-notch support from subject matter experts so they don't have to take on the burden themselves and they can focus on taking care of patients. DSOs are not just for retiring doctors; it is a great opportunity for less-tenured doctors to learn from like-minded peers, have geographical career options and tremendous wealth-building opportunities. It's critical that providers interested in joining a DSO ask the right questions to ensure that the organization is a good fit to meet their business and personal goals.

Mark Fontenot, DDS. CEO of Finalytics: Outside of access to capital and experienced management, developing a cost-efficient, electronified operating infrastructure challenges many DSOs. In particular, DSOs continually seek to create cost- and workflow-efficient organizations, yielding operating leverage and collectively driving value and growth. In many cases, about a third to half of a DSOs corporate structure is dedicated to revenue cycle management, finance, and accounting. Lockbox centric, end-to-end, automated revenue cycle management solutions can overcome many corporate revenue cycle management challenges and reduce costs, streamline workflows, improve collections, significantly reduce days insurance outstanding, and most importantly, offer scalability to achieve operating leverage.

Daniel German, DDS. Founder, CEO and Chief Orthodontist of Orthobrain: One of the most significant challenges DSOs face is finding ways to grow their organizations and create centralized systems. Acquisition of new practices with different growth strategies and incorporating new systems and protocols is one way to grow. The other is by adding profitable specialty services to [general practice] DSOs. Most DSOs struggle at activating some of the specialty services such as orthodontics at scale.

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