The Dental Drilldown: Dental Group Purchasing Organizations 101

IN TODAY’S COMPETITIVE DENTAL INDUSTRY, independent practitioners are looking for any type of edge they can find. Why? Because of the ever-present difficulties of running a productive and profitable practice in today’s competitive environment. There are the decreasing reimbursements from PPOs, as well as the complicated and continually evolving tax laws—not to mention the challenge of attracting new patients, who are more informed and selective than ever before when choosing a dentist.

Independent practices don’t need to be forced out of what they want to accomplish because of the rise of these larger, more well-funded organizations. They just need help gaining some of the same competitive advantages on the business side of things. That’s where group purchasing organizations (GPOs) come in.

GPOs help independent practice owners create a more level playing field by giving them access to the benefits of operating at a large scale. GPOs achieve this by brokering deals and negotiating special pricing with suppliers and manufacturers on behalf of their members—meaning the independent practice members can often leverage purchasing economies and bulk discounts comparable to those of DSOs. Additionally, some GPOs work with service providers that can lend a hand with nonclinical functions.