Why should Dental pay close attention to Kaiser Permanente?

Here at Group Dentistry Now, we don’t only report on DSO and dental group practice news, but we keep you informed of trends and opportunities within and around the dental industry.

A company to pay close attention to is Kaiser Permanente.  Kaiser is the largest vertically integrated healthcare delivery system in the US.  Its largest payer is, of course, Kaiser Foundation Healthcare Plan.   Kaiser has 38 hospitals and 618 medical offices, with over 175,000 employees.

So why should we care in the dental industry?  Kaiser has been slowly adding dentistry to its menu of services.  Just to clarify, I am not referring to Kaiser’s insurance arm providing dental insurance, I am referring to Kaiser’s healthcare delivery system providing not only medical services, but also dental services.  I realize that many hospitals provide dental clinics, typically for the underserved, but Kaiser is providing these dental services to the masses.

As the oral systemic link becomes more accepted by both dental and medical practitioners, collaboration will occur.  Kaiser is perfectly positioned to provide a collaborative environment to better service these patients.

What are the opportunities for DSOs and regional groups?  What if a DSO decided to partner with a hospital system and place a location within a hospital or a medical center?  Would this make sense?  I think so.  As we know, consumerism is alive and well in dentistry.  Patients would enjoy the convenience and comfort of having all of their medical needs being addressed in one location.

We will keep our eye on Kaiser and on other trends in and around the dental industry.

Welcome to 2016!

Kim Larson




Sources:  Becker’s Hospital Review, Kaiser NW Dental Practices