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Washington State Dental Association

Covering the WDS Issue: Keeping you informed!


Being a strong-minded, independent lass, I am always surprised and delighted when someone does something thoughtful for me. It has come to my attention that some of us may have forgotten the thoughtful way WSDA has handled Washington Dental Services reduction in fees. Let’s review:

• On April 6th, the WSDA sent a letter informing our members of the impending WDS fee reduction.

• WSDA followed up with a news release reiterating the fee reduction and its impact on dental care in Washington.*

• WSDA quickly established a blog solely for the WDS issue so there would be a forum for our members to stay informed. We have over fifty entries relating to the decrease. 

• WSDA added a discussion forum on the blog for our members

• WSDA provided the WDS Bylaws and WDS Management’s Discussion and Analysis papers to membership. This provided a snapshot of the company and its subsidiaries for 2010.* 

• WSDA presented two complimentary, live webinars that helped members evaluate the structure of their own practices so they would better understand how the fee decrease would actually impact them.

• WSDA educated members about anti-trust law keeping all parties safe from prosecution.

• WSDA published an issue of WSDA News totally devoted to the WDS issue. We hustled and got it out three weeks early to provide articles and editorials covering everything from WDS history to how to cut office expenses. We wanted our membership to have every tool at hand for their use.

• WSDA provided three complimentary conference calls to discuss the impact of the fee decrease.

• WSDA leaders met face-to-face with every member group and component society that was interested to discuss the issue.

• WSDA worked with various print and news media to communicate the impact of the fee decrease on our members.

• WSDA hired an outside legal expert to review all possible legislation or action against WDS.

• WSDA hosted a complimentary lunch and gathering place for both members and non-members prior to the WDS special meeting. 

• WSDA posted follow-up to the WSDA special meeting on the blog and published an article by Dr. Tim Wandell.*
• WSDA posted a summary of the WDS bylaw changes.

• WSDA was quite concerned about the financial burden of the fee decrease and implemented a 12-month payment plan for dues to help our members.
• WSDA posted the King 5 investigative story and its follow up story. 

• WSDA issued a letter to the WDS Board for Directors questioning CEO Dwyer’s “fitness to continue to represent the state’s largest dental insurer.”

 I was present through all the cussing and discussing of the WDS issue. The laundry list above does not begin to reflect the countless hours that your leadership spent trying desperately to fix something that was so intentionally broken. 
 I am shell-shocked and wounded that the anti-trust laws of this nation give such an unfair advantage to the insurance industry. Just because the law gives unfair advantage does not mean the insurance industry must take advantage of the regulations. A choice was made. I am saddened by the great damage it has done to the dental community…my community.
 I remain so very proud of what WSDA has accomplished under such draconian regulations. It has not been easy.
 Always remember that we are constantly working to improve our profession for our membership and the patients we serve. We put great thought and deliberation into every decision we make. WSDA is you and me and ALWAYS has your best interest at heart. 

 *To view the above postings and everything WDS, click here, or select WDS in the tag cloud to the right of this blog entry!



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