Even though this may be my first official Publisher’s Corner post for Group Dentistry Now, as many of you know, I have been involved with DSOs for many years and have been working with GDN for a while.
I have been busy attending the ever-growing number of DSO and emerging dental group events; absorbing an immense amount of information from emerging dental groups, DSOs and industry partners alike. The information garnered will be incorporated and weaved into GDN articles during the year. Also, stay tuned for a recap of all the DSO events of 2018 and what makes each of them important as the space continues to mature and become more competitive and crowded.
I wanted the theme of my first Publisher’s Corner post to be something very important to me, as well as something very timely.
Sunday, November 11th marked the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country during war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
Veterans often do not get the dental care they need due to barriers like cost, fear, access and lack of insurance. According to Got Your 6, of the 21 million+ veterans across the U.S., fewer than ten million are enrolled for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether. The disparity is even more pronounced when it comes to dental care because the VA only provides dental benefits to veterans who are classified as 100% disabled, have been a prisoner of war, or have a service-connected dental condition or disability.
GDN gets emails and phone calls weekly from veterans in dire need of dental care services. We pass those requests onto our friends at Dental Lifeline Network (DLN). I am honored to be a member of the Board at DLN, which just a few days ago, launched a new campaign: Will You See One Vet?
DLN has created this wonderful program to help connect dental groups and DSOs with veterans in need. The program matches your practices with qualified veterans. DLN handles the details, you provide the care in your offices and on your schedule. DLN’s local coordinators screen patients to confirm eligibility, help ensure that patients show up to their appointments, coordinates lab work and specialty care, and serves as a liaison between your staff and the patient.
Pacific Dental Services is the largest dental support organization to participate in the Will You See One Vet program, but there is still a tremendous need for more DSOs and emerging dental groups to participate.
Additionally, several DSOs and dental group practices give back to veterans throughout the year. Affordable Dentures and Implants partnered with Brighter Way Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, for a nationwide program to deliver free dental implants, oral surgery, and prosthetic treatment to hundreds of U.S. military veterans and homeless citizens.
Affordable Dentures & Implants announced it exceeded its goal and donated more than $3.5 million in dental services in 2017. Overall, 120 doctors from more than 20 states participated in the six Brighter Way events, where approximately 1,500 implants were placed and approximately 350 denture pieces were fabricated. This year Affordable and Brighter Way hopes to meet and exceed the level of donated care given in 2017. Read GDN’s article HERE.
In June, Aspen Dental opened their doors exclusively to veterans as part of the annual Day of Service. The goal of Aspen’s Day of Service is to relieve patients’ pain, make them aware of their dental needs, and connect them to free or low-cost resources so they can continue to address their dental care needs long-term. In 2017, over 4,500 veterans received services on that one day. Since 2014, dentists and their teams from Aspen Dental practices across the country have provided free care to over 17,000 veterans and people in need. Read GDN’s article HERE.
Together, we can change Veteran’s smiles and lives,
Bill Neumann is a dental industry veteran with 15+ years of experience in all facets of the industry. He is a DSO consultant, CEO and partner at Group Dentistry Now & JoinDSO, and partner in an M&A firm, Connect the Dents. Bill co-founded the first print publication for DSOs, Efficiency in Group Practice, launched the first app for dental product literature, videos, and information, Dental Sales Pro Connect, founded the first dental industry networking platform, Dental Sales Pro, invented the iBarrier, a disposable infection control sleeve, and managed and trained a sales force for dental manufacturer, Coltene/Whaledent. Bill is an advisor for the ADSO and several other dental companies. He sits on the board of Dental Lifeline Network, serves on the OSAP conference committee, and is a public speaker on DSO topics at many dental events.
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