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When Should Dental Groups Start Building a Corporate Admin Team?

If you own a single practice — or a small handful of them — it probably makes sense to outsource some aspects of the business side of things like bookkeeping, running a call center, or HR. You’re not going to want to hire your own in-house team to take care of everything because the dollars won’t add up.

This might mean working with contractors, partnering with a DSO, or connecting with overseas talent.

However, what if you’re on your way to becoming a DSO in your own right? At what point should you stop working with outside vendors and build a centralized administrative support team that’s all your own?

We recently spoke with Vincent Crump, founder of Midline Dental Partners, to get his take on the question. Vincent worked with Aspen for years before building a smaller DSO of his own, and now leads a consulting company that helps dental groups improve their revenue flow.

He says that an emerging DSO or dental group should hit eight figures in annual revenue before beginning to build a real corporate team that’s separate from the folks working in their individual practices. “I find that $15 million is when I would say to start having that discussion,” he told us. “Usually about bookkeeping, human resources, and revenue cycle management.”

“Typically, if you’re below that $15 million threshold, outsourcing is more beneficial.”

The point here is to take advantage of economies of scale. The more practices you own and the more revenue you’re bringing in, the more a centralized admin team starts to make sense.

How do you start building out your team? Vincent recommends beginning with one or two key hires. “You really could start looking for a CFO,” he said. “Or hiring a controller to handle your accounting.”

That’s often enough to start with.

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