Washington Dental Service, the state’s largest dental insurer, has slashed payments to dentists for the first time in its history, saying it needs to make dental insurance more affordable for businesses. But dentists say the cuts may force compromises in patient care.
Entries in WDS (59)
We’ve been asking for your opinion, and we’re committed to publishing them as space allows. Here, Dr. John Weaver of Olympia, a dentist with 33 years’ experience, shares his views on WDS’ 15-22 percent fee cut.
Dentists are reeling from stiff cuts in fees for dental care paid by Washington Dental Service, the state’s largest dental insurer.
But brokers say businesses can expect favorable effects in lower premiums charged by Washington Dental, and their employees may end up paying less out of pocket for dental care.
“Generally, it’s a two-thumbs-up situation,” said Peter Carpenter, CEO of ClearPoint LLC, a Seattle benefits consulting and insurance brokerage firm. “The employer reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Having witnessed the events of the last few weeks and the reactions (fears) of the dentists around me, most of whom are of the younger generation, I am dismayed by the apparent lack of cohesiveness to the best interests of dentistry at large as a profession that has given so much to the betterment of our patients. I am also concerned about a perceived lack of resolve to our patient’s best interests as dental care trends becomes less professional & personal and more retail and “bottom line” oriented for the needs of the dental office or the needs of the insurance corporations to which we are increasingly being asked to tie much of our decision making. I am even more disheartened by the lack of loyalty to ourselves, our ideals, to the equality of the treatment and fees we provide to the patients who trust us so very much (read - equal treatment provided and not cost shifting to non WDS patients), and especially disheartened by the lack of insight as to what is being foisted on us, the sheep we are apparently expected to be? Who owns each of us and to whom do we owe our loyalty, responsibility, and self respect as the patient’s primary advocate for their dental health advice and treatment? If the WDS planned effort succeeds, it may very well not be ourselves or our trusting patients?