Hello Friends and Family of Glen Park Dental
Despite our best attempts to speak with each of our Delta Dental clients directly throughout the year and via email in August, there are some who regrettably still came in for their appointments unaware of the changes and or the potential ramifications to their dental coverage and we are deeply apologetic for this. We would like to update you and, hopefully, answer your questions regarding the change in our relationship with Delta Dental.
The past couple of months have been a steep learning curve both for us and our patients who are contracted with Delta Dental. We have learned that, for many patients, there has been no noticeable change to their reimbursement amount. However, for an equal number of patients, Delta Dental is only covering a fraction of the total cost of the services rendered. The best way to anticipate any potential changes to your coverage is to call Delta or your HR department and ask them – what percentage is covered for an out-of-network provider? If you are in a position to choose a dental plan, opt for the plan which covers the highest percentage for out-of-network providers. We are not in-network with any insurance providers, so any company that reimburses you at the highest percentage is best. As always, we will still do all of the paperwork for you and your insurance will send the reimbursement check directly to you about 2 weeks after your dental visit.
The question that many of our patients are asking is – why this change? We ultimately decided to leave because our vision for what the standard of care is did not match that of Delta’s. Delta Dental’s one and only objective is to increase their profit margins regardless of the impact to their patients and dentists alike. As of last month, the superior court of San Francisco ruled in favor of the California Dental Association to move forward with a class action lawsuit against Delta Dental because there was sufficient evidence that contract amendments were done without taking into account potential impacts to dentists and their patients. Ultimately, our experience with Delta Dental has been consistently and increasingly unfavorable for all parties involved and many of Delta Dental’s dentists are leaving their network as a result.
One of Delta Dental’s tactics to prevent losing their network of dentists is that many of their plans will only cover a small portion of the cost for a given procedure for a dentist who is not in contract with them, but cover the same procedure at a higher percentage for dentists who are in contract with them. The goal of this tactic is to prevent losing dentists in contract with them and it has worked to keep Glen Park Dental up to this point. This explains why some patients are only receiving a fraction of coverage from what they had prior to the change. We weren’t fully aware of these ramifications and which plans they applied to until after we left their network and started seeing how much reimbursement our patients were getting. We are deeply apologetic for those of you who might fall into this category.
We understand that this change may be too difficult for some and we want to assure you that, if you choose to find another dental provider, we are here for you at any time for a second opinion or feedback on any treatment plans. We have already seen many patients switch their provider only to return with an extensive treatment plan they were suspicious of. Unfortunately, some dentists are over-treating as a way to compensate for the low reimbursement rates from Delta. As a courtesy to our patients, we are happy to review any recommendations made to you by another dentist free of charge.
As your dental providers, our goal is to provide all our patients with the highest level of care available. Unfortunately, Delta does not share this sentiment and has continued to impose limitations on what services our patients can receive and we can longer accommodate those restrictions in good conscience. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for many in our family of patients, but we encourage you to share your experience with your HR department so they can make the appropriate changes to your dental policy to afford you the level of dental care you deserve and hopefully improve the insurance system at large.
Carlos Longa, Kimberlee Dickerson Longa and team