National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) Stands Up and Supports DSOs

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators recently ratified a resolution in support of DSOs.  The ratified policy resolution is below in blue text:


Senator Joan Carter Conway (MD)

Resolution HHS-17-17 Written by Senator Joan Carter Conway (MD) 


WHEREAS, dental support organizations (DSOs) contract with dental practices to provide critical business management and support including non-clinical operations;

WHEREAS, DSOs provide dental services to traditionally under-served populations and locations, including, approximately 15 percent of children’s services in the United States;

WHEREAS, 47 percent of the patients in underserved communities served by the largest national DSO are African American and DSOs serve 20-25 percent of the Medicaid patients in some states;

WHEREAS, DSOs increase operational efficiency and lower dental care costs, allowing dental service providers to increase acceptance of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) beneficiaries;

WHEREAS, health policy analysis completed by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates found that expansion of the DSO model in select states could generate savings sufficient to provide dental care to an additional 1.9 million Medicaid patients;

WHEREAS, DSOs play a pivotal role in ensuring a “culture of compliance” in the dental industry through the creation and implementation of standardized quality control policies and procedures;

WHEREAS, DSOs allow dental service providers to provide better dental care by increasing their ability focus on clinical expertise through their affiliation with professional organizations designed to assist them in meeting non-clinical responsibilities; and

WHEREAS, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators has been committed to improving oral health care as stated in HHS-15-24 “A Resolution Expanding Access to Oral Health Care.”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) stands up and supports DSOs and their mission to provide affordable, quality dental services to all populations;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NBCSL encourages federal and state policymakers to utilize the efficiencies and capabilities of DSOs to address oral health outcomes and drive new payment and evidence based treatment protocols;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NBCSL encourages the resistance of anticompetitive policies that stifle the growth of the DSO industry and patient access to the benefits they provide, including the recognition of the division of clinical and nonclinical responsibilities and limiting overreaching regulation by state licensure boards;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NBCSL encourages representation of DSO affiliated dentists on state dental licensure boards to offer their unique perspective and experience to state licensure policy and disciplinary deliberations;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NBCSL encourages eligibility for loan forgiveness programs for DSO dentists who serve in low-income and under-served areas; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.

SPONSOR: Senator Joan Carter Conway (MD)
Committee of Jurisdiction: Health and Human Services Policy Committee
Certified by Committee Co-Chair: Representative Mia Jones (FL)
Ratified in Plenary Session: Ratification Date is December 3, 2016
Ratification is certified by: Senator Catherine Pugh (MD), President

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ primary mission is to develop, conduct and promote educational, research and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members, as they consider legislation and issues of public policy which impact, either directly or indirectly upon “the general welfare” of African American constituents within their respective jurisdictions.

Sources: NBCSL, Benevis,