Does Delta Dental’s Move Signify a Trend?

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Patient Attraction Episode 999

Delta Dental is already one of the 800-pound gorillas of dental insurance. Now, it looks as if that gorilla has decided to sit on Massachusetts. This may be a one-off occurrence, or it could signify a trend nationwide. I’ll be back after the break to tell you more. Stay tuned.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

–  I’m Colin Receveur.

– Delta Dental, in its many state subsidiaries, has a commanding share of the dental insurance market.

– In Massachusetts, Delta has an estimated 30 to 40 percent market share and is the single largest dental insurer in the state.

– And Delta is implementing a change in Massachusetts that has many dentists scratching their heads.

– Delta is moving its insureds to a PPO plan that is cheaper for employers and patients.

– And that sharply cuts reimbursement rates for dentists.

– In fact, reimbursements are dropping from 82 percent to 58 percent.

– That’s a bite many dentists can’t swallow, but many of those same dentists can’t afford to lose a large part of their patient base, either.

– Dentistry is certainly no stranger to being squeezed on reimbursement rates, but this level of reduction is worrying for several reasons.

– First, Massachusetts may be a trial balloon for Delta’s PPO move and for the decreased reimbursements.

– That’s speculation, but it’s worth considering.

– Second, if Delta succeeds without major pushback in Massachusetts, other dental insurers may follow suit in various states.

– And third, too many dentists are still marketing to insurance patients, and they’re liable to get hurt in the pocketbook.

– Again, this is speculation, but it points out how dentists are vulnerable.

– Having too large a share of your patient base motivated by insurance can be dangerous to your growth and success.

– That’s not to say that you should never take insurance patients – that’s just not realistic for most dentists.

– But there’s a way you can regain control of your financial future.

– It’s what Dr. Lucas Perrigo of Birmingham, Alabama, did, and he’s glad about his decision to become a SmartBox dentist.

– Here’s what he told us.

– “Since we’ve been using SmartBox Marketing, we’ve had great success.

– “We’re up to averaging 80-100 leads a month; last month was 160 — which is a great response.

– “The amount of traffic, the bigger cases, the implant cases that we’re getting are 90 percent driven from the website.” 

– More and better dental patients.

– If that’s what you want, go to and schedule a Patient Attraction System Blueprint™ Session. They are reserved for serious dentists who want to see a patient attraction system that can double their practice. You can get more patients, more profits, and more freedom.

– And you can make your financial future more predictable, regardless of what Delta Dental and other insurers decide to do.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until tomorrow, keep moving forward.