Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Aspen Dental has always been about breaking down barriers and creating access to care for those that need it most.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our organization has pivoted quickly, adopting new ways of working that balance the wellbeing of patients, team members and the communities we serve. Aspen Dental practices have launched a virtual care initiative that utilizes tele-dentistry to triage patients, and continuing to provide essential care to those with dental emergencies or urgent needs in accordance with ADA and state guidelines. It’s a critical role, one that we believe will help alleviate the stress on overwhelmed emergency departments in our communities.

But life at Aspen Dental is about dentistry, and so much more. It’s about being part of a community we built, connected by a common purpose. It’s having a tribe that cheers you on. And it’s about having the support of a network that has your back and backs you up. 

And that has never been more true than it is during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dental practices across the country have been hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus. According to estimates, dental patient visits are expected to be down 80-90% over the next 30-60 days while offices are restricted to emergency patients only, forcing many dental practices to close their doors completely. Depending on how long the crisis lasts, it is likely that some may never reopen. 

But Practice Owners in the Aspen Dental network are not going it alone, with Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI) supporting them every step of the way. The teams at ADMI are working around- the-clock to help doctors navigate the crisis, working shoulder-to-shoulder with practice owners and making strategic recommendations that will help Practice Owners preserve the long-term viability of their business. 

We often say that our role at ADMI is to care for the people who care for the patients, and it’s a responsibility that goes far beyond functional support. In these uncertain times, we’re offering reassurance. Holding hands. Serving as sounding boards. Providing advice and coaching on leading through a crisis. And fighting on behalf of the doctors whose practices we support. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at ADMI is providing advice on critical topics such as:

Cashflow & liquidity. How much cash, accounts receivable and available credit is on hand?  How long can it last?  How long might it need to last given the uncertainty of this COVID-19 pandemic?

Expense management. What are your fixed and variable expenses?  What staffing level is needed to stay open for emergencies?  What are the implications or furloughs versus lay offs? When you consider rent, utilities, business loans, supplier bills, what do you pay first, or perhaps delay paying?

Compliance & Precautionary Measures. What PPE and supplies can you secure to protect yourself and your teams? How do you continue to stay abreast of guidance from CDC, ADA and state and local regulatory agencies?

New Legislation. How do you make sense of the new legislation and relief packages from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and SBA Loan Program?

How ADMI is Supporting Dentists During the Crisis

Finance / Accounting. Negotiating with banks and lenders on behalf of practice owners to defer payments on business loans at reduced rates or even interest free. Making recommendations on how to best handle personal student loans and how to apply for forbearance. 

Operations & Financial Planning & Analysis (FPA). Developing financial models for each office so Practice Owners can make operational decisions on staying open and managing staffing levels accordingly.

Purchasing and Procurement. Leveraging partnerships with Henry Schein and other distributors to secure shipments of N95 masks, face shields, gloves, thermometers and hand sanitizer for a nationwide network of practices and ensuring priority distribution to those that remain open.

Insurance Operations & Revenue Cycle Management. Working closely with insurance companies to ensure practices receive all outstanding receivables as quickly as possible.

Real Estate & Construction. Negotiating with landlords for 90 day rent abatements. 

Legal, Risk Management & Compliance. Staying abreast, state to state, all the regulatory and safety and health requirements.  Interpreting the CARES Act and information being released by the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury and guiding practice owners on actions, timelines and eligibility. 

Strategy & Innovation. Within just a few weeks, helped launch a tele-dentistry program that will not only allow dentists to help patients in need, protect the teams on the front lines but also offers a source of revenue, albeit limited.

Human Resources. In certain unfortunate circumstances where the workforce has been reduced, the HR team has guided owners through furloughing rather than laying off their teams allowing employees to maintain health insurance coverage while collecting unemployment. The HR team is also working with the health insurance organizations to reduce and / or defer premium payments.

Learning & Development. Shifted live learning programs to an online environment and made all continuing education content in the Aspen Dental CE portal available to dental providers across the nation for free at http://aspendentalce.com/welcome  in an effort to support the broader dental industry. 

Balancing the obligation, we have as leaders to protect our people along with ensuring the long-term viability of the business is not easy. But together with the dentists whose practices we support, we’re committed to making decisions that are in the best interests of our teams, patients, communities, and the future of our organization.

Our brand and our collective success are fueled by the commitment of the 12,000 team members across the country who make up “Aspen Nation.” It is because of those team members that we believe the future is bright. And so it is with that optimism that we continue to build our team so that when the current restrictions lift and non-emergency patients return to the office, we’ll be ready. 

The Aspen Dental network was built to last, and despite the current stress and disruption, we’re confident that we will come back stronger than ever.  #bettertogether #AspenStrong

Ask Me Anything virtual panel discussions Have questions about joining a DSO? Our panel of Aspen Dental doctors have answers. Learn more