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September 11, 2017
Photo by Mike Mozart. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/13955190903Photo by Mike Mozart. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/13955190903

On June 13, 2017 Ares increased its stake in Aspen Dental Management, Inc. – a dental business support firm that has been investigated by state attorneys general for misleading practices and the unauthorized practice of dentistry.

Key Points

  • Since 2010 Aspen paid $1.7 million in settlements with state attorneys general in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts related to deceptive advertising and terms of financing.
  • After Aspen told U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley that “dentists are in complete control” of their clinics, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found “that Aspen Dental Management exercised undue control over the clinic’s finances.”
  • Aspen patients may be vulnerable: CEO Bob Fontana described the typical patient as “probably 45 to 65 and struggling to make ends meet.” In 2012 Fontana has acknowledged that 30% of Aspen’s revenue came from third-party debt financing.

The full report is available here.

Questions to Consider

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