HL20: Jeffrey A. Parker—Making Margin While Serving the Poor
The original dental center was founded in Anniston, Ala., by the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama to provide dental care to a subset of the population that private practice dentists frequently refused to see because of low reimbursement—kids in that county eligible for or on Medicaid. Parker was brought on to grow it. And grow it he did.
Now, after eight years of steady growth, the still-nonprofit company employs 250 people, has 34 straight quarters of patient growth, boasts 14 clinics statewide (of which five also have optical capabilities), and is serving as a model for states nationwide seeking to improve dental (and now optical) care for their economically disadvantaged population. Last year, the Sarrell Dental and Eye Centers (named for the founder, who died in 2012) had 135,000 dental visits and 9,000 optical visits for what had been a severely underserved population.
"Six of 10 Medicaid eligible children in this country cannot see a dentist," Parker says, explaining that many dentists don't take Medicaid patients because they do not reimburse at the same level as private insurers or a cash-paying patient.
- CEO Exchange: Preparing for Population Health
- Advocate, NorthShore Deal Would Create 16-Hospital System
- Better HCAHPS Scores Protect Revenue
- 3 Strategies for Retaining Millennial Employees
- Narrow Networks Cut Costs, Not Quality, Economists Say
- Power of price: In South FL and the nation, healthcare costs often are shrouded in secrecy
- Two NY hospitals to offer free hip and knee replacement surgeries for qualifying patients in December
- Hospital mergers may lead to higher prices
- Healthcare data of 1 million NJ patients compromised since 2009
- CEO Exchange: Pressure is On to Partner, Drive Quality