Dental Service Organizations, or DSOs, are rapidly expanding and showing no signs of slowing down! However, many older dentists are concerned about the DSO market and its impact on the industry as a whole. One survey found that 61% of dentists were “highly concerned” about the impact of DSOs, while only 42% of younger dentists were worried. It’s time to take a closer look at the DSO market, what it is and what it is not.
Dental Service Organizations 101
DSOs are popular, despite concerns, because the structure offers numerous practice management services to participating dentists. Instead of worrying about things like employment and human resources, billing, leasing arrangements, regulatory compliance, purchasing services and other infrastructure, dentists that partner with a DSO can instead focus on treating patients.
There are many different configurations in the DSO market, including practices with all DSO-employed dentists and practices that merely allow the DSO to take over non-clinical administrative services. Thanks to the convenient, multi-faceted approach to running a dental practice, the largest DSOs have continued to grow 13-14% annually over the past 5-10 years. Today, the DSO market holds over 15% of the practices in the US, and that number is projected to climb to 30% in only 2 years.
The Rapid Growth of the DSO Market
There is not one specific reason why the DSO market has expanded so rapidly. Many dentists who are frustrated with the amount of administrative work that goes into running a business (handling payroll, marketing, taxes, hiring and unemployment issues) find the idea of treating patients without the behind-the-scenes work appealing. Choosing to partner with a DSO means greater stability, access to a wealth of tools to make running a business easier and alignment with a greater network of like-minded professionals.
Could a DSO Benefit Your Business?
How could your practice be different if you didn’t need to worry about administrative tasks, investing in high-quality technology and marketing to new patients? Many dentists become part of the DSO market for greater access to all of the above, and the peace of mind that they have more infrastructure available to them.
While there are plenty of upsides to joining a DSO, you should think critically about your decision. Most practices are expected to meet sales or production quotas that might be higher than what they are used to. With the subsequent increased volume of patients, your practice might have a tighter and more rigorous schedule. If your primary motivation in owning a practice was freedom and flexibility, a DSO might hamper you in this way. If you’re on the fence about whether or not a DSO is a good fit for you, talk with APEX today.
APEX Reimbursement Specialists to Optimize Your Practice
If you want to learn more about how APEX can help your practice improve your numbers and gain more insight into how you’re doing, contact our team today by calling (410) 710-6005. We look forward to working with you to make your practice a more profitable place.