Dental Service Organizations, also known as DSOs, are experiencing a period of continued growth and capturing more market share. Over the past 5-10 years, the largest DSOs have grown 13-14% annually. The DSO market currently controls approximately 16% of the dental practices in the United States, and a recent projection predicts that that number might reach 30% by 2021.
Dental service organizations offer a variety of practice management services to participating dentists, including employment and human resources services, billing, accounting, leasing arrangements, purchasing services, regulatory compliance assistance and other infrastructure. DSOs can exist in a broad range of configurations, some with all DSO-employed dentists and others that simply provide nonclinical administrative services for private practices.
Why Is the DSO Market Growing?
Being an independent dentist with a standalone practice is difficult. You are held responsible for HIPAA compliance, hiring and training staff, unemployment and workers’ comp issues, payroll, taxes, marketing and more. The DSO market has rapidly grown partially in response to dentists who are passionate about practicing dentistry instead of trying to be a bookkeeper, HR department, marketing team and more. Affiliating with a DSO offers many dentists greater stability and access to a broad network of skilled administrative and clinical workers.
Access to the latest technology is another big draw for many smaller dental practices. It’s hard to do high-quality dentistry without access to costly technologies like 3D imaging. Depending on the DSO that a dentist participates in, they might have access to the equipment itself or steep cost reductions thanks to the bargaining power of the DSO.
Should You Consider Joining a DSO?
As DSOs gain market share, many dentists are taking a closer look at what they have to offer practices of every size. What possibilities are available through DSOs that can help you, your practice, your future retirement and your employees? Many practices benefit from the business, management and marketing tools made available through DSOs, and appreciate the ability to focus on what they do best—providing excellent oral care services.
However, there are downsides to affiliating your practice with a DSO. You will be expected to meet certain production or sales quotas that might not feel realistic for your practice. Due to a higher volume of patients, your dentists might also experience tighter and more rigorous schedules. The loss of freedom and flexibility can also be crippling from some dentists who are skilled in both practice management and providing dental care. Before you decide whether or not to affiliate yourself with a DSO, you should think carefully and work with a revenue expert like APEX.
Grow Your Practice with APEX
The experts at APEX Reimbursement Specialists can help you to explore the best insurance carrier options for your continued growth and sustained success. Contact our team today by calling (410) 710-6005. We look forward to working with you to make your practice a more profitable place.