A new face in the Nashville healthcare community

Dental practice management firm, backed by major VC players, exclusively serves Medicaid- and SCHIP-eligible youths

One of the nation's largest dental practice management companies has recently joined the Nashville healthcare scene.

Formerly based in Pueblo, Colo., Forba LLC ("for better access") was acquired in October by a Nashville-based holding company called Sanus, which has its headquarters in the Church Street office space that St. Thomas Health Services recently vacated. A large portion of the firm will continue to operate from the Colorado office.

With private equity groups such as Arcapita, American Capital Strategies and the Carlyle Group offering a combination of debt and equity, Forba has managed to raise well in excess of $200 million, according to informed sources.

That money will come in handy, as plans for large-scale expansion are apparently in the works. According to an article in the Pueblo Chieftain, Forba hopes to nearly triple in size over the next five years, increasing from roughly 750,000 patient-visits a year to more than 2 million.

Currently the company manages 50 dental practices nationwide, many of which bear the name Small Smiles. The practices exclusively serve children who are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, providing the care at little or no cost to the children’s families.

The company is run by Mike Lindley, who was with Nashville's Keystone Education & Youth Services until that company was sold in October of 2005.