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A New DSO Emerges During the COVID-19 Crisis and Positions Itself to Soar to Newfound Heights

Before COVID-19, some dental practices and groups did not have proper discipline with bookkeeping, human resources, and compliance. When the pandemic hit, many of those ill-prepared groups were unable to provide the necessary documents to banks or government agencies to get the loans they needed to stay afloat.  They didn’t know what their cash burn rate was or how many months of cash flow reserves they had. They were also unsure how to furlough, when to bring staff back, or how to keep them safe. Unfortunately, all of this led to a number of practices closing their doors.

Witnessing the terminal struggles of practices that weren’t PE backed or part of a DSO, Chris Hubble and Lynn Campbell picked up the pieces of the dental rubble and built Eagle Dental Management (EDM), which is based in Texas.

The newly formed DSO considers themselves an ‘invisible DSO,’ allowing groups they acquire to maintain their own “secret sauce” that is their practice brand. Bringing resources, knowledge and marketing that most solo practitioners cannot parallel, an invisible DSO essentially acts as a silent partner to a dentist.

Currently, EDM is focused on and penetrating in NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM, TX, OK and AR. They are 30% affiliated and 70% non-affiliated. Their preferred business partner, Black Ops Management Solutions (BOMS), supports EDM and their affiliated and non-affiliated practices’ operations. Additionally, they rely on BOMS to help their partners achieve their strategic goals. In this partnership, Lynn Campbell will be consulting and acting as interim chief strategy officer and COO.

The invisible DSO is focused on the specialty space and looking to grow to around 65 practices by 2030 through organic growth and acquisition. They want to become the majority owner of the practices they acquire yet still provide a platform for groups who want to remain an independent practice. Planning to grow through organic growth and acquisition, the group is open to supporting its partners with de novo builds.

Their platform consists of three tiers for non-affiliated practices:

  • Tier 1 – Manager Level 
    This core tier includes HR, payroll admin, accounting/bookkeeping, quarterly CPA services, marketing, and operational support.
  • Tier 2 – Director Level 
    Manager Level tier plus compliance and infection control, IT and information management, payroll processing, billing (RCM) audit and recommendations, marketing, including website redesign, monthly onsite operations.
  • Tier 3 – Executive Level
    Manager and Director Level Services plus insurance payer relations (contract negotiations), credentialing, full RCM billing and collections, forward-looking operations (think fractional COO/CFO), support for any organic or de-novo build-outs.

As the group has ramped up, they needed experts in their individual fields to help guide them to ensure they are providing their affiliated and non-affiliated groups with the best possible service. Their newly created advisory board* will also allow them to determine if or when the market is shifting so they can stay on top of changes and adapt as needed.

The pandemic has brought to light that more groups and individual practices need the full support of a DSO, even though they don’t necessarily want to sell their practice to get that support.

Typically, a practice owner will sign a number of contracts with many different vendors to help them support or maintain their practice. EDM is a one-stop-shop that can support an entire dental practice or dental group. One contract, with a single engagement to gain EDM’s support and services, is signed.

“We aim to support the industry and those groups that want to remain independent, but still offer the option of acquisition if that is their ultimate goal. EDM will share our platform with any group that needs it, even if the group decides to maintain independence as a practice and does not want to sell their practice.” – Chris Hubble, President, Eagle Dental Management

Throughout the remainder of 2020, EDM will continue recovering their partners from the effects of COVID-19 and work on establishing a new norm.  At the same time, they are still soliciting and reaching out to non-affiliated groups and practice groups to create partnerships.

*Advisory Board:

  • Lynn Campbell – President & CEO of Black Ops Management Solutions. An accomplished operations executive leading dental organizations since 2009, Lynn has worked both in the trenches with front-line office teams and with senior managers of large dental enterprises. Has in-depth knowledge of emerging trends, new business applications, valuation practices, and developments in the competitive landscape through his active working relationships with a network of complementary service providers and professional associations in the dental industry nationwide. This allows him to bring a current understanding of dental industry dynamics to his advisory practice.
  • Adam Whitten – Principal of Cultivate Bookkeeping. A Dallas-based accounting team serving dental practices, medical practices, and DSO/MSOs throughout the United States. Adam has spent a decade guiding start-ups and well-established teams in achieving financial organization and clarity.
  • Jordan Stern – Vice President of TAG Employer Services. Through his efforts his clients have been able to use their HR programs as a means to attract and retain top talent. Jordan has worked with clients that range from small family-owned businesses, to large corporate and multi-office firms across the United States. The Dental and DSO space is one that Jordan and TAG have proven scalability and solution evolution, making HR a dynamic and reliable center of influence.
  • Greg Mellin – President of Mellin Technology Management. A business leader with a deep understanding and passion for technology. In 2002 he started Mellin Technology Management with the mission of helping the dental industry navigate the increasing need for technology in their practices. He exclusively serves the Dental Support Organization (DSO) sector. He has delivered technology solutions to DSOs ranging from start-ups to some of the largest in America.
  • Tim Kelley – Founder of TNT Dental. TNT Dental is the #1 creator of custom websites and marketing strategies for dentists. Recognized as a leading expert in helping dental practices grow, Tim is passionate about harnessing the power of online marketing to attract and keep new patients. With more than 25 years of experience in the dental industry, he also knows what it takes to run a successful practice.

 

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