As president and CEO of Washington Dental Service, I am responding to the May 30 story “Dentists to feel bite of insurer’s fee cuts.” Washington Dental Service/Delta Dental recently notified our network dentists in Washington state that we will be reducing payments for their services. This action makes dental care more affordable to consumers and to employers who choose to provide dental benefits. Dental benefits to consumers are not changed. The level of dental benefits offered to employees is determined by employers, not WDS.
As a result of this action, dental fees here will be in better alignment with dental fees charged in other areas of the country. Even after the reduction, Washington state dentists will be among the most highly compensated in the country.
WDS has the largest dentist network in Washington. Network dentists agree to provide services for lower fees. Seeing an in-network dentist not only stretches a consumer’s benefit further, it reduces their out-of-pocket expense. The benefit to dentists is access to more patients.
WDS retains only about 6 cents per premium dollar to cover administrative expense; the remainder is paid to dental offices.
WDS is a not-for-profit corporation with dentists on our governing board. Our mission is to promote oral health.
James D. Dwyer