Dental Content Committee (DECC)
The Dental Content Committee (DeCC) is a deliberative body sponsored and chaired by the ADA. It was established in accordance with the administrative simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to participate in the maintenance of electronic health care transactions standards adopted under HIPAA. These standards created rules for the organization and content of electronic health care benefits-related communications exchanged between health care providers, health plans, and their intermediaries.
The standard electronic transaction used most frequently by dentists is the electronic dental claim. Other standard transactions include electronic institutional claims, professional claims, eligibility for benefits inquiry/response, request for information/claim attachment, prior authorization/referral authorization request, and notice of enrollment in a health plan/notice of premium payment. More information about standard electronic health care transactions may be found at this Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services site.
The DeCC is one of six Designated Standards Maintenance Organizations (DSMOs) named by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As such, the DeCC addresses standard electronic transaction content on behalf of the dental sector of the health care industry. Other DSMOs include the American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ANSI ASC X12), Health Level 7 (HL7), the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), the National Uniform Billing Committee (NUBC), and the National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC).
The DeCC’s main responsibilities are:
- Responding to requests for action on standard transaction data content submitted via the DSMO process
- Proposing standard transaction data content revisions
- Voting on proposed transaction data content
Please note that the role of and scope of the DeCC is confined to standards for electronic health care transaction content and that it is not involved in federal rulemaking for privacy or security. See the ADA’s HIPAA Privacy and Security page for more information about federal privacy and security requirements under HIPAA.
DeCC membership is diverse to ensure reasonable balance without dominance by a single interest category. There are representatives from government agencies, third-party payer organizations, health care providers (including dental providers), and other DSMOs that have a material interest in the activities of the committee. Current member organizations include:
- American Dental Association
- America's Health Insurance Plans
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Delta Dental Plans Association
- National Association of Dental Plans
- National Uniform Billing Committee
- National Uniform Claim Committee
- National Association of State Medicaid Directors
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange
- American National Standards Institute ASC X12 (Liaison)
In order to ensure that dentists’ interests are represented adequately and fairly, there is strong ADA representation on the Dental Content Committee. ADA volunteer leaders are appointed by the President to serve as Chair, Vice Chair, Primary Voting Members, and Alternates. The Chair and Vice Chair are appointed (or reappointed) annually. Voting members and alternates serve 3 year terms and are appointed (or reappointed) in a staggered manner to preserve institutional knowledge within the committee.
The DeCC convenes by conference call on a monthly basis. These are open meetings. Dates and times are determined according to the DSMO calendar. The calls are usually scheduled one or two weeks prior to the due date for responses to a monthly batch of DSMO change requests.
The number of change requests in a monthly batch can vary significantly. In busy times, DeCC will have a conference call every month, however, if no change requests are received within the time frame allotted for a monthly batch, the DeCC call for that month is canceled. See the DSMO website for more information about the DSMO process, calendar, change requests, and due dates. For the date and time of the next scheduled call, contact the DeCC Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments or questions may be directed to:
American Dental Association
Department of Dental Informatics