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Meeting promotes collaboration between dentists and consultants

Lake Buena Vista, Fla.—It's no secret that the relationship between dentists, insurance companies and consultants can be strained at times.

But many believe it doesn't have to be that way, and leaders in all the respective communities are working to change the dynamic between the groups. The meeting of the American Association of Dental Consultants May 15-18 was a continuation of that effort.

The theme was "Connect Collaborate Consult," and a number of dentists spoke about quality measurement, claims review, and the role of dental consultants, among other topics. Dr. David Preble, director of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Benefit Programs, gave the keynote address titled "Bridging the Gap, Connecting Providers and Consultants."

"I wanted the audience to start thinking about ways they could facilitate a more positive coordination and communication between providers, consultants, the ADA and the AADC," Dr. Preble said. "It's important to recognize ways we can connect and anticipate potential pitfalls, especially during a time when dental care financing and the role of dentists are changing."

Dr. James Richeson, former CDBP chair, also presented at the meeting and discussed "Top 10 Dentist Concerns: Looking for Solutions." Using information collected from the thousands of phone calls and emails the ADA receives on the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature, third-party issues and claim submissions, Dr. Richeson provided the dentists' perspective on what concerns they find important.

"I wanted to give the dental consultants in attendance a glimpse into dentists' minds," Dr. Richeson said. "For everybody to make educated decisions, it's imperative for all sides—dentists, dental consultants and insurance companies—to understand how the other group thinks and what is important to them. The ADA is committed to helping dental consultants understand what our member dentists need to best serve patients."

The ADA and the AADC have a few projects in the works to facilitate better collaboration, Dr. Preble said.