The uprising in our dental community regarding WDS is warranted. In my opinion the solutions are doomed to failure. Our best solution, I believe is our patients. We all need to be square with our patients about the upcoming risks to both of us. We all have patients who are employees, managers and decision makers with companies throughout Washington State. They need to hear from us!
Washington Dental Service was once the leader in dental prepayment promoting better dental health and relationships among patients, purchasers and dentists in a way that insured the best dental care could be offered to patients throughout the State of Washington. When WDS was created in 1954, it was the very first dental prepayment company anywhere. Who could have predicted the amazing access to care that this organization would have created for so many people over the next three or four decades.
I just now realized why WDS is called a “not-for-profit” — it’s a “not-for-profit-for dentists.” Finally, the shoe has dropped, and we should all realize that WDS is just another PPO driven insurance company whose customer is big business, Boeing and others. Its insured are an incidental nuisance, and dentists merely a necessary evil.
Executives at Eastman Kodak were concerned about increasing competition in their industry. They decided to conduct a study to determine the effects of price increases and price decreases on their profitability. The Kodak study assumed a 25% profit percentage (75% overhead) which is rather convenient for our purposes because it is fairly close to the 30% net income the ADA reports as the average dentist’s net income today. Using this 25% profit assumption and the corresponding 75% cost assumption, here’s what the study determined: