WSDA Calls for Delta Dental Bylaw Amendments at Special Meetings
Washington Dentists: An important effort was launched at last week’s 2017 Pacific Northwest Dental Conference. WSDA members and other Washington dentists have called for special meetings to begin the process of making a series of bylaw amendments that could result in big changes for Delta Dental of Washington.
Today, WSDA President Dr. Bernard J. Larson and Executive Director Bracken Killpack hand delivered petitions to Delta Dental of Washington with nearly 650 signatures collected in less than 24 hours.
Upon receipt of these petitions, with signatures of at least 10 percent of its member dentists, Delta is required to schedule the requested special meetings and announce the date of those meetings within 30 days. We expect to more than meet that threshold, forcing special meetings to deal with the bylaws amendments. We will keep you updated on when those meetings are scheduled, and it is important that all concerned dentists who are members of Delta attend.
Each of the proposed bylaws amendments reflects our efforts to enhance the doctor-patient relationship by shifting Delta’s focus back to patients and their providers. The changes are also designed to give Delta member dentists more visibility into its operations.
The proposed bylaws amendments would achieve the following improvements:
ENSURING DELTA’S DECISIONS ARE PATIENT CARE-FOCUSED
- Require that 94% of Delta revenues be directed to paying for patient care, and require any administrative costs above 6% be refunded to those purchasing coverage.
- Require that Delta, like other health insurance providers, work with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and participate in an independent review board when there is a dispute between the company and a provider over care decisions.
- Require that Delta Board of Directors formally vote on all recommendations from its Member Advisory Board regarding patient care procedures, claims processing and other issues, and make the results of those votes available to the Member Advisory Board and Delta members.
MAKING DELTA MORE RESPONSIVE TO PATIENTS AND ITS MEMBER PROVIDERS
- Redefine independent director to align with the instructions set forth in Internal Revenue Service Form 990.
- Eliminate the requirement that independent directors constitute the majority of the Governance and Nominating Committee.
- Remove the provision that the President and CEO is automatically a member of the board without a vote of the Delta members.
- Provide additional opportunities for Delta members to nominate individuals to serve as directors of the corporation.
- Encourage contested elections for director positions and require written ballots, with the disclosure of results to Delta members.
GIVING DELTA MEMBERS MORE VISIBILITY INTO ITS OPERATIONS
- Require that Delta disclose its administrative expenses by category, as well as detailed financial statements of all affiliated entities, including corporate contributions to its foundation and how these contributions are used, particularly regarding lobbying and commercial advertising.
- Require that Delta disclose the percentage of claims denied and, of those, the percentage reviewed by a licensed dentist in making the denial decision.
- Require that Delta make corporate records, including Board of Directors and all committee meetings minutes, available to Delta members for their review consistent with state law.
For more information on this important initiative, please visit wsda.org/delta.