HPI: 8 out of 10 dentists support dental insurance reform

By Alex Dagostino, DrBicuspid.com associate editor

December 14, 2022 -- Dentists largely support dental insurance reform, according to findings from the ADA Health Policy Institute's Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll. More than 1,100 dentists responded to the poll, which was conducted from November 8 to November 13.

More than 80% of U.S. dentists in states other than Massachusetts reported that they would be interested in participating in grassroots efforts to establish a medical loss ratio for dental plans in their state.

"The poll question was inspired by Massachusetts, which passed a ballot measure on Election Day requiring the state's dental insurance carriers to spend at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care rather than on administrative costs, salaries, and profits," according to an ADA press release. "Carriers that do not meet this minimum standard would have to refund the difference to covered individuals and groups, according to the measure."

The same poll also reported that dental schedules have been steady for the past six months. Dentists related that their schedules were 85% full in November. The top contributing factors preventing practices from reaching full scheduling capacity were patient no-shows, cancellations, and not enough patients scheduling appointments.

Other results from the poll indicated that the demand for hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative staff has been declining. Meanwhile, dentists' confidence in the economy has remained relatively stable over the past few months. About 63% of dentists reported that they were "very confident" or "somewhat confident" in the recovery of their practice.

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