Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nashville Based Marquee Dental Partners: Just Another DSO

Am I the only one to notice that every Dental Support Organization (DSO) markets themselves as the grand poohbah of the DSO industry? Marquee Dental Partners, who launched in October 2015 with a $35 Million investment from Chicago Pacific Founders, says they are the premiere of DSO’s. 

Let’s look at this up-and-coming DSO.

According to their website, they now own 19 practices in the Southeast. The headline reads, “Marquee Dental Partners Acquires Bryant Dental, Expands to 19 Practices in Southeast “.

By “acquire” I assume the 19 practices were not given to them, right? Must have bought them, right? So now they own them, right?

July 2016: Bryant Dental – 3 Locations - Alabama - Founder - W. Forrest Bryant, DMD
May 2016: Save-On Dental – 5 Locations - Alabama - Co-founder Dr. John Denton
May 2016: Signature Smile – 2 Locations - Alabama - Dr. L. Don Wilson and Dr. Kristen Bentley
January 2016: Winfree and Denton Cosmetic and General Dentistry – 1 Location - Hermitage, TN - Dr. Terry  Winfree, DDS, and Dr. Greg Denton, DDS
December 2015: Bohle Family Dentistry – 1 Location - Paducah, KY- Dr. Chip Bohle, DMD
October 2015: Embassy Dental – 7 Location - Nashville, TN - Founder Dr. Warren Melamed

With each “acquisition” Marquee Dental Partners releases a statement that claims:

“ have entered into an affiliation agreement”
“…provide dentists with both support and clinical autonomy they need”
“…seamless transition”
“…acquired the business end of [clinic]
(fill in the blank founder/dentist) will continue to either be actively involved or continue to provide high quality care for patients.

Checking the Tennessee Secretary of State Website I found the following:

Marquee Dental Partners, LLC , a Delaware company, entity filing date 2/12/2015

Name: CPF Dental, LLC (Chicago Pacific Founders Dental, LLC)
Formed in: Delaware
Original Address: 23 Northumberland, Nashville, TN 37215 (home of James Usdan and Lisa Butlak)
Principal Office Changed on April 2016 Annual Report to: 2025 21st Ave, Ste 204, Nashville, TN 37212
Number of members: 1 (likely James Usdan)
Assumed names: Embassy Dental and Marquee Dental Partners
Consent Given to Name Change from” No value To: TN Dental Professionals, PC

TN Dental Professionals, PC has assumed names listed as:

Winfree & Denton
Winfree and Denton Cosmetic and General Dentistry
Embassy Dental
Marquee Dental Partners

There is also a TN Dental Professionals, II PC started February 1, 2016. No assumed names, yet. Registered Agent is Donald R. Moody, 511 Union St. Ste 2700, Nashville, TN 37219-1791.

From Marquee Dental Partner Website:

Marquee Dental Partners Launches with $35 Million in Funding to Support Dental Practices

October 13, 2015

Nashville, TN – October 13, 2015 – – For many dental practices in today’s market, the pressures of performing administrative and billing functions prevent them from focusing their attention where it’s most needed: their patients. Launched with a $35 million capital commitment from Chicago Pacific Founders, Marquee Dental Partners provides dentists with both the support and the clinical autonomy they need to succeed.

“By handling the administrative end of the practice, Marquee enables the dentists we support to focus on what truly matters: providing high quality oral healthcare services,” said Marquee Dental CEO James Usdan. “Marquee acquires the business aspects of the dental practices and enables the dentists to focus on personal interaction with patients rather than spending their hours on filing and accounting.”

Usdan is a seasoned leader who has served as CEO of three public companies and five private equity-backed firms. He brings more than 30 years of experience in healthcare provider and multi-site management operations, including having led or served as a board member of four dental service companies. Joining Usdan are COO Christy Englehart, who has 25 years of dental operations experience, as well as Chief Dental Office Dr. Steve Hecklin, CFO Luke Lamphron and Vice President of Business Development/Chief Development Officer Nathan Cox.

Along with easing administrative burdens, Marquee Dental can also assist dental practices in implementing new practice features such as specialists in orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery—providing patients with a one-stop-shop for all of their dental care needs.

“In addition to the attractive market dynamics of the dental industry, Chicago Pacific Founders saw an opportunity to partner with a highly skilled and proven team of executives,” said Mary Tolan, Founder and Partner of Chicago Pacific. “Under their leadership, Marquee is well-positioned to achieve operational excellence very rapidly by following a proven model for success.”

“Our goal,” said Vance Vanier, MD, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Chicago Founders, “is to differentiate ourselves clinically by treating our dentists as the key customer of Marquee.”

      (A doctor turned Venture Capitalist makes me nervious)

With a relatively stable reimbursement profile, the dental market in the United States was valued at more than $111 billion in 2012. That figure is expected to grow to $163 billion by 2020, driven in large measure by an aging population. These factors, coupled with a highly fragmented landscape and a relatively low risk profile, have led to a robust pipeline of acquisition opportunities for Marquee Dental Partners.

      (Sounds like an Aspen or Affordable Dentures wannabe)

About Marquee Dental Partners

Marquee Dental is a premier dental support organization dedicated to making dentists and their patients the priority. By providing dentists with both the support and the clinical autonomy they need to succeed, Marquee enables them to focus their attention on providing the best oral healthcare services possible. Led by a team of highly accomplished industry veterans, the company was founded in 2015 with an investment of $35 million from Chicago Pacific Founders.  For more information, visit

About Chicago Pacific Founders

Chicago Pacific Founders (“CPF”) is a strategic healthcare investment fund focused exclusively on healthcare services, led by former healthcare CEOs and senior executives with a passion and track record of building healthcare businesses. CPF is actively looking to partner with organizations focused on delivering the highest quality of service to patients, providers and payers. The fund will invest up to $75 million of equity capital per opportunity in growth, minority recap and buyout transactions for cash flow positive businesses. CPF currently has investments in the senior living, behavioral health and dental industries.

If these numbers are correct, no wonder Private Equity is taking over your dental care. Sadly, dental professionals are drinking the Kool Aid at a pace that would make Jim Jones proud. They have found it acceptable (much like hypnotised zombies) to sacrifice patient care and gleefully hand that income to the 1%.

How stupid is that?