2021 DMO Survey Says: DMOs are Doing Better

Our 2021 survey of Texas dental maintenance organizations is complete and the results have been compiled.

Survey says: long-term providers MCNA and DentaQuest have improved their performance in the minds of Medicaid dentists from previous years while newcomer United Healthcare might have some improving to do even though it has fewer complaints. (Downloadable PDF with results is below.)

"Terrible" and "excellent" performance improved

DentaQuest's rating from those who considered the company's performance "Terrible" in 2020 dropped by 6% in 2021. Similarly, the company's rating of "Excellent" rose from only 1% in 2020 to almost 9% in 2021. 15% of providers found no problems at all with DentaQuest, up from just 5% last year.

MCNA even did better. Their performance rating of "Terrible" dropped 9% from 2020 and their rating of "Excellent" which was 0% in 2020, rose to 10%.

United Healthcare, just out of the gate in its first year, did pretty well. While it had a 25% "Terrible" rating and only a 4% "Excellent" rating, 29% of answering providers found "No problems" with them, a higher percentage than the other companies. So there seems to be some room for improvement in the minds of some providers.

Dental homes not a problem but dictating treatment and not approving medically necessary treatment are

With specific problems, the dental home issue has faded in importance for both MCNA and DentaQuest from 2020. It was significant for over 20% of providers last year but now affects less than 10%.

However, "not approving medically necessary treatment" complaints continue to plague DentaQuest this year over last along with a significant rise in complaints about "dictating treatment against my judgment." The "dictating treatment" complaints rose from 14% to 27% while "not approving..." stayed level at 25%.

There was a reduction in MCNA complaints almost across the board over 2020 except for a small 4% rise in "recouping for services already approved and delivered." This was the major complaint against the company.

The biggest complaints about United Healthcare are "can't reach representative or they get back slowly" and "credentialing takes a long time," both getting boos from 17% of the providers answering the survey.

All three companies poor at resolving conflicts with providers

The survey results show that all three companies have various failures at handling provider difficulties, but they are more or less on a par with each other. No company stands out.

Provider satisfaction with Medicaid unchanged

Lastly, if our survey results provide an indication of Medicaid dental providers' overall satisfaction with Texas Medicaid, 2021 remains basically unchanged from 2020. Less than 2% are "very happy," 25-27% are "satisfied," 32-35% are "frustrated," and 11% are still "on the verge of quitting."

Survey sample and accuracy

So we have to provide a note here. Although our mailing list to Medicaid dentists reaches out to over 2,000 dental providers and we know that at least 62% opened at least one of our emails to participate in the survey, only 59 courageous souls took the time to answer. Last year, it was 91 and 101 in 2019.

Such a response rate out of our mailing list total, at a 95% confidence level, provides for at least a 10% margin of error, according to Survey Monkey's sample size calculator. Margin of error means "a percentage that tells you how much you can expect your survey results to reflect the views of the overall population. The smaller the margin of error, the closer you are to having the exact answer at a given confidence level."  So for any percentage answer on our survey, the exact answer if everyone in our survey sample answered is within 10% on either side.

Considering that there are over 7,000 Medicaid dentists in the state, the small sample size of our anonymous, quick survey may be quite inaccurate concerning the opinions of the majority and their experience with DMOs.

But as Survey Monkey points out, "customer satisfaction surveys don’t necessarily have to rely on having a statistically significant sample size. While it’s important that your responses are accurate and represent how customers feel, you really should be taking a closer look on each answer in a customer satisfaction survey. Any feedback, positive or negative, is important."

Then again, it must be kept in mind that it is an unsupervised, anonymous, online survey and any number of responses or participants could be falsified.  So take a grain of salt here.

Thanks to those who participated

We want to thank those dentists who took the time to participate in the survey. We hope more will do so in 2022.

Here are our previous surveys:

2017 Dental Maintenance Organization Annual Survey

2017 Dental Maintenance Organization Followup Survey

2018 Dental Maintenance Organization Annual Survey

2019 Dental Maintenance Organization Annual Survey

2020 Dental Maintenance Organization Annual Survey


2021 Survey Results

TDMR Texas Medicaid DMO Survey results 2021


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