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Overregulation Threatens Market-Driven Solutions in Dentistry

February 28, 2017
By Mia Palmieri Heck, American Legislative Exchange Commission

In dentistry, the balance between managing the cost of care while improving quality has led to the development of a cost-saving business model reliant on services provided by Dental Support Organizations (DSOs).

Access to efficient, affordable healthcare remains a significant challenge in the United States. Americans continue to experience an increase in the cost of care, a trend largely advanced by the massive expansion of regulation triggered by implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, many healthcare providers are consolidating services in order to bring down healthcare costs.

In dentistry, the balance between managing the cost of care while improving quality has led to the development of a cost-saving business model reliant on services provided by Dental Support Organizations (DSOs). DSOs enable dentists to outsource non-clinical functions such as bookkeeping, human resources, billing and compliance services which in turn enables dentists to focus on what they were trained to do, which is to deliver quality dental care. This model gives dentists the ability to serve a greater number of patients, while the non-clinical administrative services that DSOs provide sort out complex regulatory and compliance issues, allowing dentists to accept a greater array of health insurance plans.