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Washington State Dental Association

Don’t Be Myth-Informed By Delta Dental

Washington dentists, you should have received notice of two special meetings of WDS/Delta member dentists to consider a series of bylaw amendments that have been proposed by your fellow members. Those meetings will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Wednesday, September 6, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The special meetings are critical to the future of your patients and your practice, and we urge you to make every effort to attend. If you cannot attend, it is vital that you assign your proxy vote to another member dentist attending the event. Mailing your proxy vote into Delta Dental gives your voting rights to the Delta Board of Directors. Go to www.wsda.org/delta for more information.

The proposed amendments are a series of common-sense improvements developed to enhance the doctor-patient relationship by shifting Delta’s focus back to patients and the providers who care for them. They also will give Delta member dentists more visibility into the company’s operations.

You can learn all the details about the proposed amendments by visiting www.wsda.org/delta

We thought it was important to clear up some misinformation that is being spread about the proposed changes. It is important that you are not “myth-informed” by Delta Dental.

  1. In 2011, Delta’s Board of Directors wrote in a letter to all Delta members that “about 94 cents of every premium dollar received by WDS is paid directly to dental offices.” Today, Delta claims the 94% loss ratio proposed in the bylaw amendments would lead to ruin. What, exactly, has changed? Since 2010, the average premium paid per patient has risen and virtually all of that increase has become profit for Delta – helping it increase its Cash and Investments by 67% over the last seven years.
  2. We are supportive of Delta’s Arcora Foundation in promoting oral health. Delta had a robust foundation back in 2011 when it claimed that 94% of premiums went to patient care. What, exactly, has changed? Today, Delta has a $230 million investment portfolio. Why isn’t Delta giving even more to its Foundation?
  3. The amendments we are proposing are about protecting the doctor-patient relationship, returning Delta to a more patient-focused operation, and bringing more transparency to its members. The fact that Delta is using an antitrust smoke screen simply illustrates why these changes are so vital to the future of dental care in our state.
  4. Delta opposes independent review and oversight. Why is that? Delta does not want to discuss how many claims are delayed or denied even after a preauthorization has been given, how many claims are adjusted to cover only a lower-cost procedure than what was actually performed, or how many claims decisions are made by someone without a clinical background or by a computer algorithm. Delta’s continuing lack of transparency is why data like this needs to be made visible to its member dentists.

Over the years, many of us have shared our concerns with Delta regarding their loss of focus on patients. These concerns have been largely ignored. So, we are taking this step, one that is provided for in the Delta bylaws, to drive change in the organization. This is our chance to make a real difference and create a better future for our patients and our practices. But, we need your help. We hope we can count on you.

Sincerely,

WDS Members on the WSDA Board of Directors

Dr. Theodore M. Baer
Dr. Marissa N. Bender
Dr. Dennis L. Bradshaw
Dr. Christopher Delecki
Dr. Bryan C. Edgar
Dr. Linda J. Edgar
Dr. Todd R. Irwin
Dr. Christine L. Kirchner
Dr. Eric J. Kvinsland
Dr. Bernard J. Larson
Dr. Randall H. Ogata
Dr. Cynthia R. Pauley
Dr. James W. Reid
Dr. Nathan G. Russell
Dr. Ashley L. Ulmer

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