A Record-Setting CONVERGE Kicks Off a New Cycle of Initiatives from NADP Volunteer Groups
By Mike Adelberg, NADP Executive Director
October 2, 2023
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend NADP’s annual conference, CONVERGE, in San Diego. Although, I’ve attended several CONVERGE conferences prior to this one as a speaker, this was my first as NADP’s Executive Director.
By any measure, the conference was a success. With more than 650 registrants, it was the largest on-site turnout for CONVERGE in the conference’s 35 years. Exhibit booths and sponsor slots were sold out. General sessions and breakouts were well attended, as were NADP’s two receptions, both of which had dozens of people looking for more time together after the receptions officially ended. The conference was lifted higher by several new memberships and registrations just days before we began.
While I had a great time attending the sessions, moderating two panels, speaking at the CEO/Delegate lunch, and connecting with members, for me the highlight of the conference was the last session of Day 1. This was when the leaders of NADP’s 12 volunteer groups reported out on their plans for the next year. One of NADP’s great strengths is the collaborative participation of 756 volunteers that powers these workgroups. In the interest of brevity, I will highlight only some of their deliberations and goals for the coming year.
Among the projects that will be undertaken by our clinically focused work groups, we will seek to compile a list of licensed non-dentist dental professionals (e.g., hygienists, denturists) who can perform certain dental procedures and bill insurers independently. We will also explore a webinar series on ICD-10 and SNOMED codes and consider meeting with the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services on dental Medicaid issues.
Our EDI and Operations WorkGroups are looking at the rapid maturation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and may invite AI vendors to participate in meetings in the coming year. They will also monitor the roll-out of the new paper claims form from the ADA and be ready to provide feedback. The Operations WorkGroup will continue to push ahead on identifying best practices for network leasing—and potentially offer a white paper on the topic. They will also update delegated provider credentialing best practices and policies and procedures, provider directory validation documents, and look at non-covered services.
On the research front, the Research Commission is looking at new ways to collaborate with other associations. I’m also excited by the timely research they will undertake to consider the impact of the Medical Loss Ratio law in Massachusetts that will go into effect on January 1.
The Education Commission will look to tweak NADP’s successful webinar series and make tech upgrades to CONVERGE onsite registration.
NADP’s Membership WorkGroup recently wrapped up a set of important tweaks to our membership definitions; the principal impact of this is modernizing our definitions to allow greater participation from dental savings plans. Relatedly, our Communications Workgroup will build on this year’s successful website re-design with a review of the content on WhyDental.org and investments to further increase the reach of the NADP.org website.
Finally, it will be a busy and important year for NADP’s government affairs and policy workgroups. Foremost among the topics will be our continued work with state legislators and regulators on Medical Loss Ratio. But 2024 might also be an impactful year on the federal front as NADP continues to champion the Independent Purchase of dental plans on healthcare.gov and considers potential changes to dental supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage. NADP also, of course, continues to believe that adult dental should be a mandatory Medicaid benefit and will continue to advocate for that.
All the great work ahead will be conducted according to NADP’s strategic plan, which features high-level goals around state advocacy, federal policy, operational excellence, and enhanced membership. NADP’s small but mighty staff, which I have the honor to lead, will continue to support our working groups and strategic plan. Powered by our volunteers, and building on the momentum from a record-setting CONVERGE, we look forward to a great year ahead. The NADP volunteer groups will finalize their tactical plans during the 2024 Leadership Conference, Jan. 22-24 in Dallas.