July 2015


by Chris Swanker, Guardian Life

With the first half of the year behind us, I think it’s an important time to update you on the progress we’ve made regarding the high level initiatives (HLIs) of the Association’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Last week the Board of Directors held its second quarterly call with the volunteer group chairs, who reported on their work regarding the HLIs. The call was both informative and encouraging. Following are some of the highlights regarding each HLI.

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.

Owners: Commission on Advocacy Policy (CAP), NADPac, Exchange Policy (EPW), Exchange Technical (ETW) and Government Relations (GRW) WorkGroups


  • NADPac established a tiering system for Congressional Political Action Committee donations. They are considering feasibility of both dental industry Democratic and Republican fundraisers for Members of Congress
  • The Commission on Advocacy Policy worked on Equitable Treatment / Consumer Choice statutory language through consultants, Capital Advocacy. They also produced the Consumer Choice infographic illustrating variations between standalone and embedded dental plans in the small-group/individual market.
  • The Exchange Policy WorkGroup reviewed state-based marketplace policy changes and discussed Essential Health Benefits (EHB), quality and more. They are using the NADP Exchange Enrollment Survey to develop best practices.
  • The Exchange Technical WorkGroup continues to discuss technical Exchange issues and responded to workgroup questions and requests regarding the Federally Facilitated Small Business Health Options Program.
  • The Government Relations WorkGroup continues to focus on legislation they have identified as priorities and submit comment on various industry issues such as network adequacy dental loss ratios.

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.

Owner: Board of Directors

Highlights: During the first quarter of the year, the Board gathered necessary information to better understand this opportunity. Dr. Fred Horowitz, Nevada Dental Benefits, provided a briefing at the April Board meeting. The Board is currently evaluating the information and formulating a plan, which includes a task force to identify priorities and plan their execution.

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

Owners: Standards and Transaction Initiative (STI) (Clinical, EDI, Operations), Government Relations Workgroups plus the Education and Research Commissions.

  • The Operations WorkGroup is creating compendium of organizations focusing on why they are viable partners. They will submit this compendium for prioritization by all groups involved.
  • Government Relations WorkGroup is identifying key stakeholders for inclusion in the list while Education will evaluate which associations are possible audiences for NADP webinars and/or CONVERGE sessions.
  • The Education Commission will then reach out to these associations regarding their possible interest.
  • The Research Commission reached out to Associate (Dental Service Organization) members about participation in the claims metric survey.

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.

Owners: Membership and Operations WorkGroups.


  • The Membership WorkGroup received the results from the Member Survey and shared them with the volunteer groups. They will use the results to create value propositions for recruitment and retention.
  • The Operations WorkGroup is charged with consider services that can be delivered to the industry which gain efficiencies and reduce administrative costs to individual member companies. They are currently conducting a pilot program on credentialing.

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.

Owners: Communications WorkGroup, EPW, GRW, Research and Education Commissions.


  • The Communications WorkGroup has rewritten web content, formerly known as dental benefits basics, at a ninth grade reading level. The final installment will be a glossary on industry and clinical terms to educate consumers about their plans and conditions. The glossary is a work in progress and is currently being reviewed by both the Communication and Clinical WorkGroups. The Communications WorkGroup also developed a Twitter strategy targeting consumer groups and relating to other organizations and theme.
  • The Research Commission developed a prospectus for the 2015 Consumer Survey and announced this as the 2015 Shared Research Project. The Commission is currently accepting sponsors (participants) in this project.
  • The Education Commission is charged with developing relevant content, when survey results identify consumer education needs.
  • The Government Relations and Exchange Policy WorkGroups serve as subject matter experts on this HLI when needed.

As you can see, the NADP volunteer groups have made significant strides implementing their plans in support of the strategic plan. Volunteering for NADP is where the value of your association is seen most clearly. A call for 2016 volunteers goes out just before CONVERGE, I strongly encourage you to make sure your company is represented. As seen above, the work of NADP volunteer groups brings value to our entire organization and industry.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions about NADP, I’d like to hear from you. Please email me or call (610) 807-8485.





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