November 2015

by Theresa McConeghey, Principal Financial Group

Last year NADP developed a six-year Strategic Plan to move the association and industry toward NADP’s overall mission, i.e. to promote and advance the dental benefits industry to provide consumer access to affordable, quality dental care. To develop the Strategic Plan, we published an Environmental Scan document, based on the collective feedback from numerous volunteer leaders. During this process, NADP uncovered several challenges and opportunities impacting our industry, including the prospect we have frequently referred to as “Big Data.”

“Big Data” focuses on the impact of additional knowledge provided by the reporting and collecting of diagnostic code data. This additional data represents a new industry frontier filled with enormous potential to create quality measures, improve and predict outcomes, contain operational costs and much, much more. It may also present a unique opportunity for NADP to serve the industry. These concepts are just the tip of the iceberg as we explore this groundbreaking opportunity.

Because of the vast potential of “Big Data” and its impact on our industry and association, it is the focus of High Level Initiative (HLI) #2 in the NADP Strategic Plan:

Execute a strategy that integrates data, analytics and business intelligence to enhance capabilities and deliver new value to the dental industry in the area of providers, the delivery of overall health/oral health care and associated outcomes.    

HLI #2 outlines the following operational plans:

  • Complete a gap analysis between current capabilities and desired data capabilities, including capture of diagnostic code and clinical outcome data.
  • Identify, select and prioritize opportunities that deliver new value to the dental industry.
  • Create and begin deployment of a long term plan to capitalize on the opportunities selected.

Last week in Dallas, NADP laid a strong foundation for HLI #2 with a joint meeting of the Board of Directors and the Big Data Task Force.

This was the inaugural meeting of the Task Force which focused on three goals: education on dental diagnostic codes, engagement in development of ICD-10 and creation of a business plan for capture of ICD-10 data. Dr. Fred Horowitz and NADP Deputy Director Tim Brown provided a thorough overview of diagnostic code sets and their value in creating new data and knowledge. Jonty Yamisha of Kabarian Group also presented an overview of the successful efforts by other industries to create data tools that served their industries.

At this meeting, the Task Force focused primarily on its first priority of education and created four subgroups to work on:

  1. Education on Dental Diagnostic Codes,
  2. NADP Role on ICD-10 Development,
  3. Mapping of SnoMed CT to ICD-10
  4. Identifying Future Touchpoints for Capture of ICD-10

The work of the Big Data Task Force is an exciting, ground breaking step for all the stakeholders in dental care delivery. To create a group with broad industry perspective and expertise, the Board of Directors sought nominations for the Task Force earlier this fall and appointed 13 industry leaders to serve on this critical group. They are:

Chair Dr. Fred Horowitz, Nevada Dental Benefits; Kirk Andrews, UnitedHealthcare Dental Dr. Roger Adams, Dr. Steward Balikov, Aetna; David Book, HealthPartners; Dr. Richard Celko, UPMC; Anthony Cook, Dental Care Plus; Dan Croley, Delta Dental of CA, NY, PA & Affiliates; Jordan Firfer, LaunchPoint Corporation; Diana Friedman, Henry Schien; Theresa Jansen, United Concordia Companies; Dr. Steven KellerCipriano Mascote, Delta Dental of MO; and Dr. Doyle Williams , Aspen Dental. Four NADP staff members will work with the Task Force: Executive Director Evelyn IrelandTimothy L. BrownJerry Berggren and Dental Informatics Manager Brian Flynn.

I look forward to hearing more from this Task Force as they explore this uncharted territory and what it means for our companies and our association. The Task Force will meet periodically and update members on their progress via the e-newsletters.

Should have any questions about this NADP program, please contact me at

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