2020 TDMR DMO Survey Results: Improvement, Skepticism About A Third Company

We are pleased to make public the results of our Texas Medicaid Dental Maintenance Organization Annual Survey 2020.

This year 90 dentists took the opportunity to give us their views on the performance of MCNA and DentaQuest. Last year we had 98. It appears that there continues to be some shyness among providers to take part in our survey even though it is entirely anonymous. We reached out to some 3,200 Medicaid dentists on our mailing list.

Things appear to be improving

The good news is that, if our sample here is representative of the whole, the performance of the companies is improving.

We say this because the number of providers reporting that they are now satisfied has grown from 12% in 2019 to 23% today while the number of those thinking about quitting has dropped from 18% to 12%. Oh, yes, the majority is still worried and frustrated but that has been par for the course since we started these surveys in 2017.

The companies today are basically on a par. A few years ago DentaQuest was definitely the preferred company and MCNA the bad boy. But MCNA has improved in providers’ minds while DentaQuest has worsened. We also received more complaints and heard more negative sentiment about DentaQuest this year than MCNA.

Same troubles keep coming up

The troubles providers are having with them are roughly the same with the major ones being “still not approving medically necessary treatment” and the “shifting of dental homes” for patients. Providers are still plagued by “Multiple minor issues that don’t get resolved and keep recurring” and “a serious issue(s) that I cannot get resolved and is still outstanding” with both companies.

Worry about having a third company

The major surprise of the survey is skepticism about having a new boy on the block, United Healthcare. Only 30% of those answering the survey are pleased to have a third company. The majority is skeptical about how it is going to work out, essentially being satisfied with the two already in place.

How times change! Providers were begging for a third company a few years ago.

As a side note, a dentist contacted us to say that some of his patients had told him they were being called from Medicaid and given the hard sell to enroll with United Healthcare with no mention of MCNA nor DentaQuest. We didn’t hear this from anyone else or get any more details so we didn’t report it.

We are going to give our standard caveat here on the survey results. The survey was informal and anonymous. No attempt was made to verify whether the respondents were actual Medicaid providers or not.

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