CDA Practice Support receives many calls from dentists who are considering adding or dropping participation with a dental benefit plan/network. The same question comes up repeatedly in these conversations.
"Have you heard of a dentist who joined or dropped their participation with a dental benefit plan and experienced a successful transition?"
My answer is yes.
Typically, the caller then asks a second question.
"Have you heard of a dentist who joined or dropped their participation with a dental benefit plan, which resulted in an unsuccessful transition?"
Again, my answer is yes.
It's important to remember that adding or dropping a contract with a dental benefit plan is a personal business decision. There is no one-size-fits-all in these types of business decisions, as what might work for one dentist might not work for another.
You may be asking yourself how a dentist can make a good decision about adding or dropping a dental plan/network participation, but there is one key element in each success story and it's this: The dentist analyzed the pros and cons of adding or dropping participation with the plan/network.
The saying "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" certainly rings true in this situation.
I occasionally receive calls from dentists who were in contract with a dental benefit plan, then added or dropped participation with the plan/network and are now experiencing issues related to their decision. What we find is that dentists often make the decision to join a plan/network predominantly based on the fee schedule. A dentist should not make their decision to join or drop a plan/network solely based on fees.
While contracting or dropping participation with a plan is voluntary, CDA cautions dentists that due to antitrust laws, dentists cannot band together collectively and refuse to participate with a plan. For more information on antitrust laws, refer to the ADA's primer on antitrust laws in dentistry.
Cindy Hartwell is a dental benefits analyst with CDA Practice Support, which is a CDA member benefit.
DrBicuspid.com wishes to thank the California Dental Association (CDA) for allowing us to reprint this article, which originally appeared on the CDA website.
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