Letters: Provider ratings

I couldn’t help myself when I read the recent article in the Oct. 11 ADA News “Delta Dental of California Launches Provider Rating System.” I had to respond.

I have been in practice for over 43 years and have watched as third-party payers have wedged themselves more and more into our practices’ lives. I guess I never realized that we were unable to function without their approval.

Why are we allowing Delta, or any other insurer for that matter, to dictate or rate our abilities? We all had to undergo strict written and clinical tests in order to even get a license. We had to pass the scrutiny of our peers, and they certainly have a much better idea about our abilities to practice than any third-party payer. I don’t understand why our profession hasn’t just told these companies to go take a hike when they tell us we have to be “credentialed” or rated for the “public’s protection.” I appreciate the ADA making an attempt to guide Delta into how to rate us, but I feel like the ADA should be telling them, instead, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Maybe what we should be doing is rating them (the insurers, that is, not the ADA).  Let’s rate them on their ability to pay in a timely manner, without harassing both us and our patients before they will pay a claim. Let’s rate them on wedging themselves between our patients and us, while they practice dentistry from their desks in some corporate office somewhere. Let’s rate them for treating all of us like we are criminals that can’t be trusted, when the actions of maybe a few create tons of extra and unnecessary work to prove that we are doing what we say we are doing.  
And on top of that, they require that proof for free. All these issues and more, while they keep taking and taking from our patients and their member dentists, and their profits are sky rocketing. Not bad for a “nonprofit.”  No one ever said they were stupid.

Mark Troilo, D.D.S.
Rose Hill, Kansas