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Optimizing Clinical Models Aids Strategic Business Planning and Scaling

Serendequity Partners founder Dr. Anthony Naranja, former Chief Clinical Officer, talks about optimizing clinical models and strategic business planning.

DSOPro: How did you become interested in dentistry? Tell us how your career evolved.

I’m of Filipino descent. My parents came to the United States from the Philippines, and they both have medical careers. My brother is an orthopedic surgeon and a lawyer. My dad is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and a psychiatrist, and my mom also served in the U.S. Air Force and practiced internal medicine. Growing up, there was a strong push for me to pursue a healthcare career. Initially, I planned to become a physician.

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As I applied to medical schools during college, I became aware of the opportunities in dentistry. Several of my relatives, including uncles and aunts, were in the dental field, so I decided to change my path. I didn’t follow the traditional medical route within my immediate family because I saw the lifestyles of my brother and parents and realized it wasn’t what I truly wanted.

After taking the MCATs, I decided to explore dentistry and took the DAT. I did well on the exam, even though I didn’t have a deep understanding of dentistry at the time. This led me to enroll in the University of Colorado School of Dentistry, where I found that dentistry aligned with my passion for helping patients and building a business. My business skills and interest in patient care drove me toward a career in dentistry.

DSOPro: When and where did you start practicing?

I graduated from dental school in 2000 and actively participated in organized dentistry as a student and as a new practitioner. I continued to practice dentistry in Colorado for 23 years within my own multisite private practices and within DSOs. During this time, I experienced all types of business models with de novo startup offices, acquisition offices, and scaling with DSOs.

I observed the challenges of starting a practice from scratch versus acquiring one, and I began consulting to share my knowledge. My focus was on helping private practitioners with clinical models and aligning their work-life balance.

My expertise developed from running my own practices and consulting for 15 years, with a particular emphasis on implant dentistry and focusing on implementation of services surrounding implant surgery and prosthetics.

I assisted other dentists with surgeries and strategic planning, often bringing in specialists to enhance their services. This experience continued when I joined Affordable Care, initially as an implant-placing doctor on a temporary basis, to a practice owner with multiple locations, and then finally as the Chief Clinical Officer.

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DSOPro: What was happening with your consulting company at the time?

I focused on optimizing clinical models and conducted purchase-feasibility studies. Instead of being a transaction broker, I helped doctors understand a practice’s true value using my algorithm, which considered patient value and service mix.

For example, most people selling practices have a transaction broker or sales broker who says, “Hey, your practice is worth this.” At that time, they were saying the general range of the actual worth was always 60% to 65% of their revenue. Well, I flipped that and said, “This is what they’re asking for the assets, that’s the blue sky and everything else. Let me give you an idea of what the practice is worth generating what you like doing and the procedures you are performing.” Because in all truthfulness, a practice is only worth what that doctor is doing in that practice. If 30% of your service mix is orthodontics and you don’t like doing ortho, that practice isn’t worth as much to you because you’re not going to actually be able to grow that component.

I built an optimization calculator and toolbox based on service mix and patient value, which improved overall clinic revenue cycles. Affordable Care initially hired me as an implant doctor but because of the performance improvements I implemented with operational systems and implant and overdenture integration, I was offered the position of Chief Clinical Officer to service the Affordable Dentures & Implants affiliated network of practices, proving the effectiveness across hundreds of offices with consistent metrics to support business growth.

DSOPro: Talk about your role in procurement and product evaluation at Affordable, working with Sevāredent.

I worked closely with our group purchasing organization (GPO), Sevāredent Sourcing Solutions. Sevāredent has about 2,000 DSO members. I provided the clinical backbone for the setup of a full procurement team on the Sevāredent side, and then two other clinicians and I were part of the overall committee vetting process for any kind of clinical product, whether it was technology, gloves, disposables, or whatever the procurement might be. We set up a group of 20-40 evaluators among the network to pilot and test different things.

We were vetting products in real time, tracking the measurables and the metrics of what we were trying to accomplish. We would essentially make recommendations, based on our clinical backgrounds, on what we felt was the best clinical product for a situation and our network of affiliated offices. For bigger, new technology items with an inherent cost, we normally set up a pilot group to test it. Let’s say it was a soft-tissue laser or a 3D printer. We would work out an agreement on piloting and testing it before any type of acquisition or purchase order was actually made. We would do our tests to make sure we had all the KPIs we needed to ensure this was the right move for our practices.

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DSOPro: Tell us about Serendequity Partners.

My current focus is deeply rooted in my experience with solo practices, group practices, and large-scale DSOs, all of which share common areas of performance improvement. These five key performance drivers are central to the goals of healthcare providers and business owners alike, promising substantial returns on investment and delivering value to stakeholders. 

I founded Serendequity Partners, a company dedicated to serving three distinct client groups. First, we assist healthcare providers, whether they are DSOs, group practices, or single practitioners, at various stages of their journey, guiding them through the intricacies of their operations. Secondly, we partner with vendors and manufacturers to facilitate strategic initiatives, ensuring seamless integration into DSOs and other healthcare settings. 

One critical issue I observed during my consulting career was the lack of implementation and retention plans for technology acquisitions by dentists and DSOs. To address this, we’ve developed a process that not only helps doctors launch new technologies but also supports their ongoing growth. We recognize that customer retention and growth require continuous education, which is why we collaborate with vendor and manufacturer partners. 

Our third target area is investors, including private equity firms seeking information or support for DSOs within their portfolio. 

Within Serendequity Partners, our service offerings encompass strategic business consulting, strategic growth and development, project management, start-up practice consulting, and a range of other strategic services tailored to startups and established groups. We specialize in revenue cycle optimization, utilizing our proprietary Optimization and Analytics Toolkit, which integrates with practice management software to streamline operations, provide operational advice, devise marketing strategies, and offer educational insights. 

We have introduced the Serendequity 360 Start Up Engine, a dental start-up consulting and support service that covers all aspects of the new dental practice. From initial planning to grand opening, we offer guidance and customized solutions for your unique needs. We have assisted over 100 startup practices in achieving successful launch and are committed to delivering support at every stage of the journey toward building a thriving dental practice. 

Additionally, we offer OralMed, a revenue-cycle product that employs our proprietary software and algorithm to streamline medical billing processes for surgical procedures, improving efficiency and revenue generation while ensuring access to care for patients. 

Education is a multifaceted component of our services, encompassing clinical tracks, clinical and business education and training, leadership development, and various continuums. Our aim is to empower clinicians and staff to provide top-quality patient care and predictable outcomes by staying current with industry trends, innovations, and technologies through partnerships with leading educators and vendors. 

Serendequity also has dedicated teams focusing on data governance, analytics reporting, dashboard creation, data quality, marketing, communications, public relations, brand development, and content creation for media. We understand that many DSOs operate with limited resources, and our teams are equipped to provide support and assistance to drive initiatives in both DSOs and individual practices. 

In summary, Serendequity Partners offers a wide array of solution-based options related to operations, practice management support, performance improvement, and practice growth. We are committed to empowering healthcare providers and businesses to achieve their goals while delivering exceptional value to their stakeholders. 

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About Anthony J. Naranja, DDS

Anthony Naranja

Anthony J Naranja, DDS, President of Serendequity Partners, with over 25 years of dedicated experience in the field of dentistry, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the dental industry. Throughout his career, he has navigated the intricate landscapes of solo practices, multi-office setups, and large-scale DSOs, while gaining invaluable operational and clinical insights. His journey has focused on optimizing both the patient and practice experience, which he believes are intricately connected and that by enhancing one, he can drive exceptional results in the other. His passion for dentistry has led him to develop and implement proven tools and strategies that have consistently delivered outstanding outcomes. Whether it’s fine-tuning clinical processes for optimal patient care or streamlining operational workflows for practice efficiency, his goal is to elevate the overall dental experience by blending clinical excellence with operational acumen to achieve success. His commitment to continuous improvement and innovation has allowed him to stay at the forefront of the dental industry, helping dental practitioners and organizations alike reach new heights. His extensive experience has resulted in the skills and insights needed to drive tangible results and excellence in dentistry. 

Serendequity Partners

Serendequity Partners was founded by former Chief Clinical Officer, Affordable Care, Inc., and clinician Anthony J. Naranja DDS. The company’s team of experts focus on areas in strategic business and growth planning, project implementation and management, marketing, media strategy, content development, technology integration, revenue cycle optimization, data governance, analytics and reporting, operations and practice management support, clinical education, clinician sourcing and recruiting, and strategic business planning, implementation, and management.

Serendequity’s team of experienced professionals offer strategic guidance to help dental organizations forge valuable partnerships with vendors, investors, and other providers. We understand the challenges that come with implementing new technology, expanding services, or preparing for an acquisition or funding partnership. We offer personalized support and guidance tailored to your unique needs. Count on our team to help you navigate market trends, identify potential partners, and develop a roadmap that positions your dental organization for long-term success. With our proven track record of delivering value-driven results, you can trust us to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist your organization. Learn more.

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