August 2015


by Chris Swanker, NADP Board Chairman

As Board Chairman I often have a front-row seat to see NADP at its best. I was reminded of this last week when 50 leaders from our dental plan members participated in the CEO-Delegate call on Aug. 18. The primary purpose of the call was the discussion of the “Big Data” opportunities, which are a key component of the Strategic Plan High Level initiative (HLI) #2. Their interest and collaborative spirit are one of the many examples of how NADP membership advances our industry.

To fully understand the value of this industry collaboration, let me share some background on this HLI and how our members are involved.

First, HLI #2 states “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.” “Big data” is a key component of this HLI. The reason this HLI is included in the Strategic Plan is because of the vision our volunteer leaders who shared their insights on developments in ICD-10 and diagnostic coding systems last year during the collaborative creation of the Environmental Scan and subsequent Strategic Plan. Both documents were the culmination of feedback from volunteers at every level.

Following the adoption of the Strategic Plan, the Board asked for a more in-depth overview of the big data opportunities from volunteers with expertise in this area. I want to thank Dr. Fred Horowitz, Nevada Dental Benefits, for sharing his knowledge and vision regarding this opportunity, first with the Board in April and on a webinar earlier this month with the broader membership.

Next we scheduled the call with Delegates and CEOs to present the opportunity and provided the “Big Data and the Future of Dental Benefits” document as background. We asked the Delegates and CEOs to nominate individuals to form a Task Force to explore this opportunity further. Thus we called upon our leaders to provide the manpower and expertise to collaborate on opportunity that will advance our industry and provide value to each member plan. They will do so by addressing the following “big data” matters:

  • The feasibility of the data capture
  • Who should collect the data
  • Costs to capture the data
  • Time frame for the project

For an effective team, we asked our Delegates and CEOs to nominate individuals from various backgrounds with expertise in electronic transactions, finance, clinical, practice management, and project management. The Task Force should also include visionaries and realists. The Board will choose a few individuals from the field of recommendations to serve on the Task Force.

The point of the above narrative is this: The collaboration of NADP volunteers provides value to us all. The collaboration of industry colleagues on common challenges and opportunities is at the very heart of NADP membership. It is the fuel that drives the association and the industry forward. This is what it means to be a member of NADP. It also showcases how our association works. NADP leaders identify industry challenges and opportunities and rely on its members to provide industry knowledge and insight to address them.

It is truly amazing to see this industry collaboration at work. I feel truly privileged to be a part of it, and want to thank all our members who make this possible. On next step on the “Big Data” project is the formation of the Task Force. We anticipate they will complete this project by the fall of 2016. I look forward to their progress and contributions to our industry.

The creation of this Task Force is only one example of how NADP members just like you make a difference in our industry. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank all NADP volunteers for serving our organization and industry. Should you have any questions about big data or any NADP program, please contact me at or (610) 807-8485.



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