The Smilist's roadmap for 50% growth in 2024

Great Neck, N.Y.-based The Smilist is focused on improving its provider and patient experience while continuing to grow its footprint throughout the rest of 2024.

The DSO, which supports more than 60 locations across the Northeast, secured a $285 million debt facility earlier this year, including a commitment of nearly $100 million of new growth capital.

Andrew Mintz, the company's CEO, recently connected with Becker's to discuss how the DSO plans to utilize the funding and its goals for the rest of the year.

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: How will the additional funds and resources help The Smilist grow and expand?

Andrew Mintz: The funds are going to be used for two things, organic and inorganic growth. From our organic perspective, we've refinanced to give us the ability to continue to expand our facilities and add new services, new doctors and specialists into our existing sites. We are in the middle of a dozen different expansion projects throughout our locations. The majority of the money will help us through our inorganic growth. We expect that this year, we will be making acquisitions large and small and we will grow by 50%. We're very excited for what we have coming this year. We will continue with our efforts throughout the Northeast, to continue to expand our footprint and also to make our existing footprint that much more dense.

Q: With so many DSOs out there today, what sets The Smilist apart?

AM: I think there's a couple of things that set us apart. One is a very disciplined approach to growth and integration. We are a DSO that fully integrates our practices into our systems, into our processes and our growth plans. So we have a playbook that we use when we bring in a practice that helps maintain a local culture but also brings them into The Smilist family. We are investing in core technologies and processes that help us create an opportunity for the providers and better care for the patient. Everything that we do surrounds how we provide quality care to the patient. This year, we're putting in some chairside technology, which is one of several examples where we're really dedicating ourselves to improving that patient experience. That is very attractive to doctors who are struggling with the financial components or the operational components and don't have the ability in a small setting to make the kinds of investments we do in equipment and technology. We are committed to continuing to invest and look at our business in ways that I think are unique. 

Q: What has the company accomplished so far in 2024 and what are some goals for the rest of the year?

AM: Our strategic goals are around four things, and we have annual goals for all of them. One of them is about the patient experience. Number two is growth. This year, we will grow by about 50% and we do have specific targets this year for what we want to do and where we want to do it. Third is around the employee experience. One of the things that we're doing is we've invested very heavily in measuring and understanding our culture, so we have some specific goals around employee engagement, which is key to us. And then the fourth is around operational excellence. So we are focusing a lot of our efforts on our revenue cycle management, which will improve the patient experience as well. We are investing heavily in certain technologies to automate and take out the human error piece of it. 

Q: What trends in the dental industry are you keeping an eye on?

AM: I have my eyes on the integration of dental and medical health. I'm fascinated with those connections and ways for us to create opportunities to improve the overall health of patients. For example, we don't manage cardiac disease, but we take care of patients with cardiac disease, so where is that connection between cardiovascular problems and oral health? How are they connected and what is it that we can do about that? I think that there are more and more DSOs that are keeping track of that or are actively involved in managing some of that. So from my perspective as I look forward, I believe that there are going to be opportunities for us to be collaborating with physicians, and health plans for us to be involved in that overall better health.

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