Dental Care Alliance supports the industry's best dental professionals for the challenges of today and the success of their tomorrows.
Established in 1991, Dental Care Alliance is a pioneer and demonstrated leader in the dental support organization (DSO) industry. With myriad and distinctively different operating models, DSOs are known to contract with independent dental practices to unify and provide best-in-class support services, including non-clinical operations, and enable dentists to focus on the patient while delivering excellent dental healthcare. The DSO’s original charge is perhaps even more relevant today: enabling dentists to dedicate their expertise, time, and energy to their patients, rather than shouldering the administrative, regulatory, and financial challenges of managing an independent practice in today’s fiercely competitive dental industry.
Dental Care Alliance (DCA) is proud to be a leading DSO that provides a comprehensive suite of dedicated, best-in-class support services for its affiliated dental practices, including human resources, payroll and benefits, marketing, procurement, accounting and accounts payable, insurance and credentialing support, real estate, facilities management and maintenance, staff development, courses, OSHA compliance, CPR certification, and integrated information technology.
This unique approach, originally led by the vision of Dr. Steven Matzkin and Mitch Olan, became reality in southern Florida in 1991. These forward-thinking entrepreneurs assembled a thoughtfully chosen cadre of the industry’s most esteemed dentists. Matzkin and Olan established a competitive business model, affiliated with like-minded practices to build scale, and today DCA operates one of the largest and oldest DSOs in the country with 325+ affiliated dental practices in 20 states.
Talent and technology combine for a solid foundation
BOSS Magazine was fortunate to spend some time with Dental Care Alliance’s Chief Operating Officer Dale Hockel, who shared his thoughts on the influence that DCA can have on the practice of modern dentistry. “DCA’s model is unique and respectful of the providers, staff and patients that we served. We truly strive to ensure that our affiliated dentists maintain their autonomy, have more time to provide exceptional patient experiences and rely on dedicated support to manage the business and administrative management side of the business,” he explained.
“At our core, we love the practice of dentistry, the talented providers, staff and practices that comprise the DCA family. We believe in the reputation, dedication, and commitment to world-class dental healthcare that our affiliated providers and professionals have built in their local communities. DCA is the partner of choice – the leading DSO that encourages the practice to retain its own unique identity, culture, and value proposition to its patient base. Our affiliated practices can better focus on the patient. DCA offers the strength and scale to strategically support and to create value in the practice.”
In addition to the dedicated expertise and infrastructure to best support the daily operations of the practice, Dental Care Alliance delivers growth and career opportunities for affiliated doctors and dental professionals. No matter the phase in a career, fresh from dental school or successfully running a growth-oriented, mature practice, Dental Care Alliance offers solutions to strengthen and grow DCA affiliated practices.
“Whether it’s conquering the billing aspect of the practice or expanding the skill set of the provider or the dental professional, DCA impressive resources. We are totally committed to delivering value and unleashing potential in our teams across the country. The power of DCA is that we can provide the resources, training, and continuing education to ensure that affiliated clinicians are empowered to perform, with excellence, the most complex general and specialty dentistry in the industry.” Opportunities to collaborate, network, share best practices, transition to another or even build an entirely new location are abundant with DCA. The organization has demonstrated success in each of the aforementioned opportunities, but specifically with dentists who wish to create de novo (or new) locations in the family of DCA practices.
For almost 30 years, DCA with its innovative and unique operating and partnership model, has unearthed a plethora of new challenges in private practices. DCA addresses those challenges head on with state-of-the-art technology and continuing education on the latest and greatest in clinical techniques, patient experience, and practice management solutions.
“There’s clearly an ongoing evolution in technology, from the use of scanners, 3D printing and other sophisticated technologies, that will help improve decisions and safety in dentistry. These innovations will certainly improve the clinical outcomes and help to arm affiliated providers and dental healthcare professionals with accurate information to help educate decisions, and exceed the expectations and experience of our patients.
I smile, U-SMILE, we all smile
“U-SMILE is the creative acronym that we use to effectively communicate the values to which our great organization aligns,” shared Hockel. “It's the absolute foundation of who we are. Our values establish and help create the story of who we are, what we expect and how we operate for those who are considering joining the DCA family.”
“It goes without saying that the importance of optimal patient outcomes and the robust performance of every practice is paramount to the success of our business. Our U-SMILE shared values demonstrate what makes DCA unique, and what unites us as a family,” he added.
“DCA aspires to empower affiliated practices and team members to improve by helping them leverage and build upon on individual strengths to unlock their potential. Growth and development that, maybe, one young hygienist or patient services representative couldn't – or wouldn’t have the opportunity to – achieve without a partner like DCA,” Hockel stated.
“That's where DCA demonstrates a pure and real commitment to serving first. We are steadfast in our promise to take care of the practice, the clinicians, the dental healthcare professionals, the office staff. So they can take care of their patients,” he added.
“It’s not only our responsibility to alleviate some of the practice management and infrastructure support needs; but, also leveraging our expertise to help grow the business and drive innovation – whether it’s technology, practice management software, or the streamlined systems DCA deploys to make our team members’ lives easier.
“We’ve heard the heartbreaking stories of those who are afraid to smile. We can help them. At DCA, we truly strive to improve lives and ensure that each and every patient feels confident and proud to share a smile,” commented Hockel.
“As a leadership and support team, we are committed to leading together. Paramount to that is the diversity of our team, and how we show up to deliver on our promise to be the trusted leader of choice in our industry, with each other and the patients that we serve. These tenets are interconnected and deeply embedded in the heart of our organization, as we grow.”
“Expect excellence is not one of those things that we take lightly. We take tremendous pride in what we do, from the clinicians who are taking care of the patients and the quality of work in patient care, to our accounts receivable and payable teams who build quality into the work that they do to support the practices.”
The more things change, the more things stay the same
With an impressive growth trajectory and practice development value creation strategy, DCA takes pride in its ability to preserve the local culture, identity, and experience provided by each brand. “Across the DCA affiliated practices, we support more than one hundred unique, locally differentiated brands,” he pointed out. “These celebrated brands are precisely what makes the doctors and professionals who are treasured in their communities the ideal partner for DCA. We maintain that relationship, and promise to encourage their unique presence, and avoid forcing the practice into a standard, one-size-fits-all model. We promulgate and fully believe in the personal connection that affiliated practices have to patients.
“DCA is fully committed to practicing what we preach. Offering the industry’s best dental support for the industry’s best providers and professionals. We help support the practice of dentistry by partnering with dental professionals, to provide them the time, resources and latitude to most effectively provide care for patients. That's the premise for everything. We lead with that, it’s who we are.”
Marketing is cornerstone to a successful practice. Many times with burgeoning practices like those in DCA, it’s an area ripe with opportunity given the demands of the provider and office staff. “DCA brings expertise, demonstrated success, and a dedicated team of talent that knows what works in the dental space,” added Hockel. "DCA wraps our arms around all of the best practices, and also supplies innovative ideas and strategies to ensure continued growth and success for years to come.” This collaborative approach is innate in all of DCA’s support services, and has driven it forward as one of the leading DSOs in the industry.
In today’s economy, talent and committed teams are at a premium. DCA takes this responsibility seriously with a dedicated, highly skilled recruiting team to help attract and retain the industry’s very best dental professionals. “It goes without saying that there is shortage of talent to fill open positions in most industries today. DCA differentiates itself as a leader in the dental industry with a tenured team of talent acquisition and retention leaders to identify and source candidates for consideration and approval by the local clinical and operational leadership teams. We take pride in working hard and achieving amongst the industry’s highest retention and engagement scores amongst doctors. Empowerment and support of our team is paramount to this effort. DCA works with well-respected dental schools and leverages the power of the network of our current doctors. With a generous internal referral program, DCA was pleased to field 164 new referrals for dentists in 2018,” he noted.
The number of students entering the practice of dentistry is changing, as are the profiles of the doctors coming out of school. “Partnering with DCA is a great opportunity for doctors that want a better work and life balance. With the ability to extend hours and provide a non-traditional (or traditional) workday, DCA is flexible to the evolving needs of not only our patients, but also affiliated providers.
An evolving payer landscape
Rapid and continual changes on the payer side, including reimbursement levels, insurance carriers, and regulatory requirements provide additional challenges for sole practitioners in business. “Dental Care Alliance has a broader, holistic view to the latest legislation, requirements and regulations in the dental industry. That's part of our success, drives our passion and truly what sets us apart as the partner of choice.”
To that end, a robust mergers and acquisitions process flows into the integration and onboarding processes and systems; and, new practices quickly become part of the DCA family. “We invest a lot of time and effort to ensure that the integration process is seamless. That our communications, assimilation, training, systems, and all the respective support applications that we offer, effectively help the local teams to rapidly achieve even more success.”
Technology, whether the latest in care or tools for increasing efficiency throughout the network, is key to staying on the forward edge of practice management. “At our foundation, we whole-heartedly wish to demonstrate that each and every DCA affiliated practice is well-equipped with the latest technologies to ensure state-of-the-art patient care.
“Over the last 30 years, we have a solid history and unequaled success in bringing together like-minded dentists and practices, who are committed to excellent patient care, growing stronger together and empowering and educating our local teams. With our unique model, DCA is one of the few — if not the only DSO — that has been able to successfully integrate large-scale dental service organizations. Not only are we able to support single or small, multi-location practices, but we bring solid history and aggregate expertise of centuries of practices with larger organizations. How and why we do what we do reinforces our mission, vision, and values. This is why doctors want to be part of DCA. What really sets DCA apart is our commitment to clinical excellence and innovation, providing an unmatched patient experience and collectively being the very best dental healthcare organization that we can be.”
Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Dental Care Alliance (DCA) supports more than 325 affiliated dental practices in 20 states, making it one of the largest multi-branded dental support organizations in the country. DCA-affiliated practices provide a full suite of dental services, including general dentistry, hygiene, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery. DCA’s mission is to advance the practice of dentistry by partnering with and supporting dental professionals to create a lifetime of healthy smiles. For nearly 30 years, Dental Care Alliance has built an impressive organization that takes great pride in our revolutionary approach to dentistry.
DCA was thoughtfully created by dentists, for dentists. Our focus has always been on improving the well-being of both patients and providers. The DCA platform is powerful and cultivates lasting, value- and growth-focused relationships. The industry’s best, experienced, licensed Clinical Directors ensure superior standards of care, and DCA’s affiliated dentists share in our commitment to practicing with honesty, integrity, excellence and compassion.
DCA is committed to leading the industry in ground-breaking business development methods while providing the best environment and results for patients and healthcare professionals. Unlike many dental support organizations, DCA-affiliated practices are not forced to fit a certain mold. All practices that wish to do so maintain their own identities, and operate under various names and practice models.
DCA believes in a team-oriented environment where the entire staff works together to ensure procedural quality, effective time management and unequaled patient satisfaction. Continuing education on current dental advances is a priority that benefits patients, doctors and practices alike.
This continual evolution ensures the flexibility of DCA’s system to adapt to variables such as geography, demographics and economic conditions. DCA is proud to provide the following support services to its family of affiliated practices: • human resources, payroll and benefits • marketing • procurement • accounting & accounts payable • insurance support • facility support • staff training, development and continuing education courses • osha compliance • cpr certification • integrated information technology.