Steve Gates, Managing Director of Wellbeing Services comments on Denplan’s pilot programme for new dental partnership model
Denplan has today announced the launch of a new dental partnership funding programme which will see the company enter a partnership with individual dental practices. This strategic opportunity will see Denplan strengthen its support, investment and involvement for its member dentists and in the future of private, preventive dentistry, ensuring that Denplan continues to provide the widest possible level of support to its member dentists.
Denplan will initially pilot the partnership programme with five Denplan member practices, acquiring a 50% equity stake in the practice and becoming an equal partner, with the dentist retaining full clinical management of the practice. The equity stake that Denplan will acquire of these practices will be set up as a ring-fenced Denplan Company. The new company - Denplan Partnerships Limited – will operate separately from Denplan to ensure that there is no potential for any conflicts of interest to arise.
Our strategy in launching a new partnership programme has been led by Denplan’s member dentists as it has become clear that for many of them, succession planning and retirement is an area that is taking an increasingly high priority. By piloting a new partnership programme, we believe that Denplan can play an active role in supporting succession planning for those individual dentists who are considering their clinical and financial future through to retirement.
We believe that this partnership model will reduce the barriers to a new associate taking over a practice as we will also support the eventual transition to a new owner, who will acquire the dentist’s 50% share of the practice. This programme will be revolutionary in “guaranteeing” the basis on which the remaining 50% of the practice will be valued, therefore providing real certainty to the dentists who participate. The partnership will also support the dentist in realising some of the financial benefits of running a successful practice immediately while continuing to take responsibility for the day to day management of the practice, clinical activity and patient care.
With the growth in private dentistry expected to continue and increased acceptance of corporate involvement in the dental market, Denplan is well positioned to enter into these partnerships because we have strong relationships already in place, as well as a trusted brand. Since Denplan became part of Simplyhealth in 2011, there has been a huge amount of support and investment in Denplan to ensure that our member dentists continue to benefit from the unrivalled innovation, focus and support that helps our dentists run a successful and profitable practice. Entering the dental delivery market and creating this new partnership funding programme is the next logical step.
We have identified a shortlist to select the five pilot practices that we will be going into partnership with and over the next few months we will be making sure that the programme works for both parties. However, we believe this unique model is scalable and we have ambitions to roll this out further potentially to a significant number of practices during the coming years, making it an important element of the support programme that Denplan provides for practices. We believe the new partnership funding programme is an exciting initiative for our member dentists and they can be re-assured that the practice and goodwill they have built up over the years will continue with the security of Denplan as a stable partner.