STARTING A DSO
The dental industry is becoming more business-oriented and competitive. Dentists are being forced to spend more time, energy, and money on marketing, managing operating costs, sterilization protocols, employee hiring and office administration. These aspects of dental practice ownership, whether you own one or multiple practices, can distract from patient care and treatment. One solution to these concerns is ownership through a Dental Service Organization (DSO) structure. DMC has the experience necessary to assist you through the challenge of creating your own DSO.
How we help
If you are thinking about creating a DSO, you need the right legal team with DSO experience to help you navigate the process. DMC understands not only the intricacies of corporate laws and business structures but also the complexities created by the ever-changing rules, regulations, and laws affecting the dental industry. Our experience working with and creating DSOs allows us to provide you with the protections and flexibility you will need to scale your DSO as your business grows.
A “DSO” is a “Dental Services Organization” or a “Dental Support Organization.” The concept of a DSO is that, by dividing the business administration of owning/operating a dental clinic (marketing, equipment, technology, personnel, etc.) from the actual provision of dental services (treatment of oral diseases), the dental practice can run more efficiently allowing the dentist to provide more focused patient care and enhanced treatment. There are many different DSO models, but the most typical model involves a management corporation providing equipment to a dentistry professional corporation along with business and administrative support services, such as leasing space, human resources, marketing, patient scheduling, and financial management. Importantly, the regular corporation does not interfere with the dentist’s clinical judgment.
A properly created DSO allows a dentist to successfully own and operate multiple practices on their own or with non-dentist collaborators. The DSO structure separates the business administration from the practice of dentistry, allowing dentists to focus on the patients. This style of practice ownership can bring innovation, enhanced patient care and profits. Additional advantages can include increased buying power and efficiencies through economies of scale and an easier path to raising private financing to invest in new and increasingly specialized dental services and equipment. DMC has been active in the growing DSO market, and we have seen a wide variety of business structures and arrangements for practice ownership. From this experience, we can assist you in determining whether a DSO is the right model for you and if it will help you achieve your vision of practice ownership and financial success.
Through our dynamic participation in the DSO markets across Canada and the United States, our team at DMC has seen the past mistakes of other DSO start-ups, and we can recognize and avoid those traps. However, operating a DSO is not without risk. Some of the concepts you should be mindful of include:
- avoiding poorly drafted contracts with the participating dentists and non-dentist collaborators
- maintaining a positive relationship with the dentists and team members providing the dental services at your practices
- upholding the proper protections of patient information and patient privacy
- ensuring you have appropriate exit strategies for the DSO stakeholders
- adhering to governing rules, regulations and legislation on fee-splitting within dentistry
What do our clients say?
“DMC LLP was introduced to me by RBC bank. I contacted David and started the process of buying my first dental practice. Every step on the way I received great sound legal advice and learned about the details of buying a dental practice. I was amazed that Michael, David and Ljubica worked every day with the same dedication, professionalism and passion.”Dr. V. S.
“In contemplation and navigation of a purchasing endeavor, David and Michael work as a supportive team to both help me realize my goal and stay true to myself in the process. Their collaborative efforts are refreshing with value added extras along the way.”Dr. C. Z.
“I would highly recommend Michael to my colleagues to assist them to buy a dental practice. He was encouraging when I needed it and helped me to be firm where I needed to be firm on.”Dr. M.T.
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