California-Based DSO Swells with DSO Acquisition

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® owns a number of subsidiaries that function as separate, independent entities. One of its subsidiaries is a DSO, Access Dental Services, LLC, which was formed on May 16, 2014. Access Dental provides administrative support to dental centers in California.

Premier Dental Holdings, Inc., a parent of Western Dental Services, has just signed a definitive agreement with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America to acquire its dental service organization operations, which currently supports 63 offices in Texas, California, and Alabama.

The acquisition will add 36 supported offices in Texas currently branded South Texas Dental, 13 in Northern and Central California under the Access Dental brand, eight in Northern and Southern California branded Blue Hills Dental, and six Vital Smiles offices in Alabama.

When complete, the transaction will bring the total number of Western Dental and Brident supported offices in five states to 312. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018.

In 2015, GDN reported that Western Dental had stopped accepting new Denti-Cal patients in 13 California offices, citing low Denti-Cal reimbursement rates for this change (read article here.) (Denti-Cal is a public insurance program that provides services for low-income individuals and families who meet eligibility requirements.)

Then, in 2016, GDN reported that Western was reopening their doors to new and returning Denti-Cal patients at all of its California offices (read article here.)

From a strategic standpoint, Western sees their newest DSO acquisition as a good fit with their existing 249 offices since both DSOs have experience in accepting Denti-Cal. According to Daniel D. Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Western Dental, “The offices of both firms have long shared the goal of expanding access to high quality, affordable dentistry, including for patients covered by Medicaid and, in California, Denti-Cal.”

Guardian, an insurance and wealth management organization serving 26 million Americans, was founded in 1860. Owned by their policy holders, it is a Fortune 250 company.

Western Dental traces its history back to 1903, when Dr. Curtis Beauchamp saw a need to provide quality dental care at affordable prices. His son, Dr. Robert F. Beauchamp, followed in his footsteps, and in the 1930s, expanded the practice to include several more locations.

True pioneers in what was once known as “credit dentistry,” both father and son became known for offering low cost quality dental care and credit terms to people who could not afford the high fees that were typically associated with dental care.

Since then, Western Dental has continued to build and grow and now serves over one million patients each year (including more Medi-Cal Dental patients than any other provider.)

They employ over 4,500 dental professionals and support teams, including over 900 dentists, hygienists and a full range of specialists – periodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons, and dental implant specialists. Earlier this Fall, GDN reported Western Dental & Orthodontics, opened its 200th office in California (read article here.)

Source: Western Dental

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