Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What’s Moodys got to say about Aspen Dental?

"Aspen affiliates with its dentists through two models: the staffing model and the practice ownership program ("POP"). Under the staffing model (~55% of offices), dentists are at-will employees of affiliated PCs, where the PCs own the medical records, patient lists, and operating records. Under the POP model (~45% of offices), dentists purchase the medical records from the PC to essentially own their own practice. The company's audited financials do not consolidate the POP practices. Audited revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 approximated $260 million. The consolidated (unaudited) revenues for all Aspen branded dental offices, including POP offices, approximated $322 million over the same period."

Note: Moodys reports approx 55% of Aspen Dental offices have dentists as employees ("staffing model"). Moodys reports approx 45% operate under the POP model, where dentists purchase the "medical records". Although these doctors "essentially own their own practice", they can't freely sell this practice, nor dismiss Aspen Dental as a DMO, as might a true owner. There exists a serious difference between "essential ownership", versus true & valid ownership.

When Leonard Green purchased Aspen Dental they utilized GE Capital.

The same GE Capital which runs CareCredit, which operates the consumer 3rd party payment system for Aspen Dental. This seems like a pretty tight relationship, & something which may merit further investigation?

From Aspen Dental corporate marketing on POP:’s-practice-ownership-program-pop-has-dr-timothy-owczarzak-in-a-“perfect-situation”/

An Aspen Dental President & "owner" of 2 Aspen Dental clinics, Dr Owczarak comments, "...Owning your own practice is a totally different animal. When you’re in private practice it seems like it’s 20% dentistry and 80% business. I simply became tired of it.”.

He later goes on to say about his POP position w/ Aspen Dental, "This has been a winning situation all the way around. I own a practice...". In reality, he doesn't own a practice.  Dr Owczarak may own a practice under the definition of ownership of Aspen Dental, but not true & valid ownership, under the legal definition of ownership. This misrepresentation proffered to dentists in this Aspen Dental marketing effort isn't very subtle nor sophisticated.