The Latest on Managed Group Dental Practices

Lower cost dental careWith the changing of the times has come the opportunity for entrepreneurs to create business models for dental practices which separate the business of dentistry from the practice of dentistry. The latest update on this was written by Eric K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD, the associate editor of the Academy of General Dentistry, within the September 2014 issue of the AGD Impact magazine. Dr. Curtis refers to these business models as corporate dentistry or managed group practice.

While these newer business models may offer lower fees than traditional solo practitioners, may offer organizational consistencies, and may offer more in the way of advanced technologies, there are concerns. The article infers that ¬†these business models of dental practice are highly structured and may apply pressure to its staff and dentists to produce. These characteristics, the article implies, make it difficult to plan treatment for each patient specifically. The article also quoted a dentist who worked in one of these corporate dental practices for three years; she did not like that she had “no control” and that she felt this lack of control challenged the quality of her dental treatment. Moreover, the article indicated that some of these newer business models impose quotas or award production incentives to managers, which made the dentists feel “vulnerable to manipulation”. The article added that some observers of these corporate dental models had concerns that short-term profits may come at the cost of “quality care and long-run sustainability”. The article also referenced the high staff turnover in these dental business models.

We at Venincasa Dental have had some patients leave my practice for one of these type of corporate dental practices. A fair number of these patients have returned to my practice, realizing that they were being treated very differently than they wanted. We realize that patients these days want to save money. We realize patients may want appointments perhaps in the evening or on the weekends. However, in exchange for these things, many patients are obtaining care from different dentists due to turnover, some patients do not feel they were treated honestly, and some were not pleased with their dental care or were not pleased with how their care was managed.

For those of you wanting to save money on your dental care over the long run, for those of you who want to be treated with dignity and with respect, for those of you who want a dentist who truly cares for his patients and is present in the practice every day that the practice is open, and for those of you who want more from your dentist-patient relationship, something more personal and more meaningful, we invite you to contact us in any way you see available within this web page. We invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.

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