September 2016


By Theresa McConeghey, Principal

One of the most important aspects of my NADP membership is attending our annual conference, CONVERGE. I always look forward to seeing my friends and colleagues, visiting the exhibit booths in the Discovery Zone and hearing from industry experts about the trends affecting the dental benefits market. For me, CONVERGE 2016 was the best conference to date. In addition to strong attendance, quality educational content and multiple opportunities to connect with my colleagues, CONVERGE 2016 was the first time I attended the conference as NADP Board Chair.

As NADP Board Chair, I had the opportunity to drop in on many of the volunteer group meetings held during CONVERGE 2016. I was truly impressed by the caliber of our volunteers and the discussions I heard. NADP is fortunate to have more than 300 talented, dedicated volunteers who drive the progress of our six-year strategic plan. A few weeks before CONVERGE 2016, the Board of Directors held its quarterly conference call with the volunteer group chairs and vice chairs who updated us on their progress on the strategic plan. At CONVERGE, the Board briefly reviewed and evaluated progress on each High Level Initiative (HLI) and associated operational plans.

Following is a brief update on each HLI from the August chair-vice chair call.

HLI #1: Address emerging political shifts by improving NADP’s positioning with political and policy leaders to influence positive dental benefit policy outcomes at the federal and state level.

Ownership of operational plans within this HLI belongs to the volunteer groups involved in advocacy including the Commission on Advocacy Policy (CAP), the Exchange Policy WorkGroup (EPW), Exchange Technical WorkGroup, Government Relations WorkGroup (GRW), and the Operations WorkGroup. Third quarter highlights included meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders, obtaining Senate sponsorship for an equitable treatment bill, creating an NADP Network Subgroup, and educating the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on issues in their model act.

In addition, the GRW continually monitors and tracks issues such as network adequacy and non-covered services. Meanwhile EPW has focused on many issues including meaningful access and provided input to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) templates.

The Operations WorkGroup has finalized its Dental Plan Accreditation Standard (DPAS) proposal for board review and direction.

HLI #2: Execute a strategy that integrates data, analytics and business intelligence to deliver new value to the dental industry, with emphasis on providers, the delivery of overall health/oral health care and associated outcomes.

Ownership of operational plans within this HLI belongs to the Big Data Task Force, the Clinical, Codes, and Operations WorkGroups and Research Commission. Third quarter highlights include phase II testing of the credentialing project by the Operations WorkGroup. The WorkGroup has added two more dental support organizations (DSOs) and one plan to this phase, which is capturing quantitative data and using a web portal to track the same data regarding timing and completeness.

Codes and Clinical are in a holding pattern as they await the general dentistry diagnosis code sets. The Big Data Task Force prepared two CONVERGE 2016 sessions. The Research Commission stands ready to respond as needed

HLI #3: Expand collaboration and partnerships with stakeholder organizations with an interest in oral health.

Ownership of operational plans within this HLI belongs to the Clinical, EDI, Government Relations, Operations, and Exchange Technical WorkGroups plus the Education, Government Relations and Research Commissions. Third quarter highlights include prioritizing a list of 25 organizations with whom NADP may collaborate, the creation of the NADP DSO Advisory Council, which held its first meeting at CONVERGE, and offering webinars to the Delta Dental Plan Association at a discounted price.

HLI #4: Expand NADP’s scope and influence to enhance the association’s role in representing members and an expanded range of stakeholders across the dental industry.

Ownership of operational plans within this HLI belongs primarily to the Membership, Operations and EDI WorkGroups. However, all volunteer groups have a stake in developing new resources that maximize NADP data and knowledge to expand the association’s influence and value to external and internal audiences. Third quarter highlights from the Membership WorkGroup include conducting a new member meeting at CONVERG, exhibiting in the Discovery Zone, adding new members, and surveying NADP membership about possible dues structure scenarios. The EDI WorkGroup is working with DSOs and clearinghouses on streamlining transactions and reviewing recent claims metrics. The Operations WorkGroup continues its work on credentialing. (See above).

HLI #5: Pursue opportunities that focus on consumers both as the current and potential purchasers of dental benefits and the end users of dental services.

Ownership of operational plans within this HLI belongs primarily to the Communications WorkGroup and Research Commission with the Clinical, Exchange Policy and Government Relations WorkGroups serving as subject matter experts and the Education Commission supporting with content development from webinars and CONVERGE.

The Communications WorkGroup provided new information to the National Association of Health Underwriters, expanded broker resources on the website and has developed a Twitter campaign targeting consumers with more than 3,700 followers. The Research Commission is preparing to launch a fourth quarter Consumer Survey. Results will only be released to participating companies as part of the Shared Research Program. NADP is included as a participant in the study.

Clearly, our volunteer groups are invaluable in the success of our association. Their work makes a difference in our industry and provides value to your membership. To learn more about the work of our volunteers, I encourage you to read the 2016 Business Meeting Reports submitted by each volunteer group. I also encourage you to serve on a volunteer group. The annual call for volunteers is currently open through Friday, Sept. 30. If you have not already done so, sign-up here.

As your NADP Board Chair, I’m interested in your thoughts about our association and volunteer groups. Should you have any comments or concerns about the NADP, please contact me at



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