Private Practitioners Organize to Compete Against DSOs

Dentistry Today


A group of dentists has formed Private Practice Partners (P3), a national, member-controlled nonprofit company with a goal of marketing directly to patients why they should choose dental care offered by its members. Voting memberships will be restricted to private practice dentists.

“There is a game of tug of war going on. On one side are the insurance companies, dental service organizations, and dental hygiene association, and on the other side are private practitioners. The game is being waged over who will control patient care and revenues,” said P3 cofounder Dean Mersky, DDS.

“Whether we like it or not, we find ourselves on the playing field. To win, we must pull together in the same direction and harness the power of collective strength,” said P3 cofounder Dan Marut, DMD. “Unfortunately, dentists have become unwitting competitors to big business interests.”

According to the cofounders, P3 seeks to control the future of dental care by taking market share from these competitors. Like medicine, they say, dental care was never structured to strive with big business, so P3 will enable dentists to compete on a level playing field.

“When private practice dentists come together, en masse, they have the strength to change industry dynamics for two reasons. First, dentists actually do control the delivery of care. Second, when organized, they have the power to attack market share and impact corporate revenue. That gives you market strength and negotiating power,” said Mersky. 

“We want dentists to use their collective power to preserve doctor-patient relationships. Corporate America has reached too far into this relationship. Now, it’s necessary for private practice dentists to employ business strategies of their own to keep doctor-patient interests first,” said Marut.

With its stated strategy of “Strength by Scale, Power by Purpose,” P3 believes that opportunities will increase proportionally to the size of its membership and commitment to common goals. Among other benefits, membership includes Harvard Online business education and options to form business structures and alliances to benefit patient care and private practice members.

“The possibilities are endless, but not until private practice controls its own company with enough members and power to be taken seriously,” said Marut. “The opportunity is here now.”

P3’s steering committee and future board of directors, subject to member vote, overseeing its development comprises David Hornbrook, DDS; Bob Lowe, DDS; Ron Richardson, DDS; Nancy Duque, DDS; Paul Goodman, DMD; Dan Marut, DMD; and Michael Dachowski, DMD.

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