The numbers behind the network

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April 12th, 2017

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How is your insurance company counting its dentists? The answer matters.

One of the largest factors behind what kind of discount your dental benefits plan offers you is the size of its network – how many dentists are a part of their plans. But how they count those dentists matters.


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Methods of counting dentists differs

Understanding how your dental carrier measures the size of its network ensures you receive an accurate picture of the access you have.

If a single dentist splits his or her hours at two different practice locations, some carriers would count that dentist twice. Among larger dental chains, it’s a common practice to count every dentist at every clinic of the chain, regardless of whether or not each dentist practices at every location.

These methods may help some dental carriers boost their network numbers, but they do nothing to deliver better access to their members. When it comes to demonstrating network size, Delta Dental will always report unique individual dentists long with other relevant comparable information that helps you make the most informed decision.


Count on our network numbers

At Delta Dental, we take great steps to ensure the validity, integrity and credibility of our network numbers – allowing us to give groups and enrollees a fair and accurate assessment of the access to dental care our network provides.

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  • We don’t lease our networks. Our local staff members foster relationships directly with dentists.
  • When dentists retire, reduce their workloads to fewer office locations or otherwise change their network status, we adjust our network numbers accordingly.
  • A trusted third-party resource compiles participating provider data and analyzes it objectively – scrubbing any duplicate entries within our network and other dental benefits carriers’ networks.

So how does your carrier count their network dentists?

If you’re covered by Delta Dental, you already know the answers. If you’re covered by someone else, it might be time to ask a few questions.