Can You Manage Compliance And Keep Employees Happy? How One Dentist Does It

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on March 25, 2015. Last updated March 22, 2023.

Sunday, March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Zane Benefits will mark the occasion by recognizing our valuable customers, like Dr. Kenneth Armstrong DDS, owner of a thriving dental office in New Mexico.

His story presented interesting questions: how does a small business function while dealing with compliance aspects of the Affordable Care Act?

Read Dr. Armstrong's Story

For close to 30 years, Dr. Kenneth Armstrong has been a pillar of the Albuquerque small business community.

As a dentist running a small office of about 10 full-time and part-time staff, he faces similar struggles that many other dental practices face: keeping up with new technology and treating his patients with the best possible care. Dental Practice Compliance HappyEmployees

Managing staff and keeping them happy are on the top of Dr. Armstrong’s list. This often means providing adequate health benefits.

“It is important that we have something available to them. But at the same time keeping an eye on our own bottom line, too.”

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare benefits Dr. Armstrong was offering his staff were no longer compliant. There were a number of new rules and regulations and for a business owner like Dr. Armstrong, this is not where he wanted to focus his time.  

“You remind me very much of the accountant who looks after our books. In this complicated world we need people like [Zane Benefits] to steer you through the minefield.”

So, how does Dr. Armstrong like to spend his time? A big part is helping those who often can’t afford dental services.

“We like providing special care for people who are missionaries. [For] those who can’t afford, we provide them a fee schedule that makes it more possible for them to get the care they need.”

Dr. Armstrong and his wife, who is also a doctor, travel frequently to Uganda to volunteer their time and help provide dental and medical services for free.

At the end of the day, Dr. Armstrong is just like many other small business owners - he worries if he is making the right decisions that best fit the needs of his patients and of his staff.

“Because premiums have gone up it can be very hard for staff to keep good coverage. [A reimbursement plan] is a nice way of getting money to staff that is not taxed highly and is a good benefit. We were happy that we could still continue to provide the benefit through [Zane Benefits] and it kept us from doing something that was against the law.”

The personal care that Dr. Armstrong gives to his community is apparent. It is not a surprise that a large part of his business comes from referrals offered by his current patients.

Key Takeaways from Dr. Armstrong’s Story

  • Dr. Armstrong relies on Zane Benefits to help maneuver through the numerous compliance measures facing his small business.

  • Keeping employees happy is important to Dr. Armstrong and he utilizes Zane Benefits' products to offer good healthcare benefits that are affordable to his business. 

  • As a small business owner, Dr. Armstrong wants to spend his time focusing on his patients-not on administrative duties. 

Dr. Kenneth Armstrong opened his dental practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1987. Dr. Armstrong has a B.S. and PhD from the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde in Scotland. Visit Dr. Armstrong’s website:


The Comprehensive Guide to the Small Business HRA
Topics: HRA Compliance
Originally published on March 25, 2015. Last updated March 22, 2023.


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