Rubicon Dental Associates, an emerging dental support organization (DSO) headquartered in Billings, Montana, provides administrative support to their dentists to help them provide the best possible dental care.
“Aggressive growth” is the watchword at Rubicon Dental Associates— with a goal of going from several practices to 100 in 10 years.
James Pennington, Executive Director of Rubicon Dental Associates, explains their growth mentality. “We are about six years old as a company. For the first three years, we had organic growth as the patient load increased,” at which point Rubicon made an investment in additional business leadership, resulting in the DSO “kicking it into high gear.”
He notes, “Over the last two-and-a-half years we’ve added six offices. We are adding another office next week, another two in a few months, and we’re in negotiations for another one soon after that.” That’s right on schedule for their long-term plan over a decade, with growth that creates a significant need for certain building blocks to be in place now as the DSO is relatively young.
One of those main building blocks Rubicon Dental Associates put in place to support their growth model was Dentrix Ascend from Henry Schein One. “Because we wanted to be more aggressive in growing through purchases and acquisitions,” Mr. Pennington says, “we knew we’d have to set up systems and processes up front. We were putting pieces in place to avoid that sophomore slump where growth exceeds your ability to handle it.”
“Dentrix Ascend makes everything more efficient, which is important because the bigger we get, the harder it can be to keep our thumb on how our practices are doing things. Dentrix Ascend helps us monitor what’s going on.”
Stephanie Rexford explains why Dentrix Ascend has helped their growth strategy from her perspective as Insurance and Billing Manager: “Dentrix Ascend makes everything more efficient, which is important because the bigger we get, the harder it can be to keep our thumb on how our practices are doing things — because we keep everyone separate and let them keep their own in-office culture.” She notes that “Dentrix Ascend helps us monitor what’s going on” with consolidated reporting that’s only possible by having all locations on the same practice management system.
Dentrix Ascend’s reports are key to getting the information she needs. “I’m watching production in the reports,” Ms. Rexford says, “and the collection percentage is very important. I also look at the power reports, pie charts and dashboard elements. I like the insights number because I like to see how much production that’s proposed is being accepted. I look at workflow compliance as well.”
As Rubicon Dental Associates evaluated various software programs, another feature that was important to them that they found in Dentrix Ascend was a report for non-adjusted production, which is critical for doing accurate payroll for their providers.
Ms. Rexford also notes that she appreciates the robust and efficient accounting capabilities of Dentrix Ascend. “It used to take two of us together working ten hours, more than a whole day, to post a $50,000 Medicaid check, because we had to look in seven different office’s software to find the patients,” she says. “Then we had to post line by line and adjust line by line, and then move on to the next person. Whereas now, Heidi, who works with me, just posted $50,000 in less than eight hours by herself. So you can see that Dentrix Ascend is just really efficient.”
Dentrix Ascend helps create efficiencies and standards for everyone. Mr. Pennington says their key to success has been “putting all the systems in place where you can acquire a practice and apply six or seven measures to it, and come out knowing you can compete with anybody if you can apply those measures consistently over and over again — that you’ll be successful.”
Mr. Pennington has many examples, one of which is a standard method for all offices to track how new patients heard about the practice. Ms. Rexford agrees, “That helps us with our ROI. I love how Dentrix Ascend shows the number of patients and the amount of production so we know if our marketing’s working.”
This is an exciting time with many opportunities for a young, growing DSO like Rubicon Dental Associates, says Mr. Pennington, and Dentrix Ascend is the common thread that ties all locations together and supports the nurturing mentality of Rubicon’s executive leadership. Dentrix Ascend helps Rubicon Dental Associates on many levels, providing the tools to run the organization profitably while providers and staff at each location benefit from its patient-centered focus.
Ms. Rexford says they are glad they made the switch to Dentrix Ascend. “Whenever I talk to our dentists,” she notes, “I ask them, ‘How are you liking it?’ They say, ‘Love it! Couldn’t be better! Everything is wonderful.’”
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Rubicon Dental Associates