We have closed our revised 2018 Dental Management Organization annual survey and are today giving you the results. Our survey sample is not that large, unfortunately. At the end of the day, only 39 providers entered the survey as we decided to ask for actual names and provider numbers to prevent possible false responses. Consequently, it is more than likely that those providers with problems took the time to answer the survey than those that had few or none. Please keep in mind this is a casual survey and not in any way scientific.
That being said, the results seem to reflect the reality of the current situation for dental Medicaid providers.
Results changed from 2017
Our last survey done in 2017 showed that dental providers were dissatisfied with both DentaQuest and MCNA but more so with MCNA. After all, MCNA had been placing payment holds on providers which they had no authority to do. For 2018, while the number of providers still thinking MCNA is “terrible” remains higher than DentaQuest, it is significantly less than last year. The majority of providers have “lots of difficulties still encountered” with MCNA and the number of those for DentaQuest has increased significantly.
A good note is that there was a slight rise for both companies in those providers finding “there was some improvement but still not satisfied” over last year.
Problems still abound
The problems that providers reported having with each company have changed somewhat.
With MCNA in 2017, the largest reported problem was “not approving medically necessary treatment.” Thankfully, that concern has dropped significantly this year. It has been replaced by “dictating treatment against my judgment.” which was also reported as significant in 2017. The second largest reported problem in 2018 with MCNA is “credentialing takes a long time.”
DentaQuest’s largest reported problem in 2017 was “dental homes keep switching.” For 2018, this is still the second most important problem encountered with the company. However, concerns about the company “dictating treatment against my judgment” have grown significantly over the past year to become the number one problem encountered.
As far as the severity of these problems is concerned, both providers still have “multiple minor issues that don’t get resolved and keep recurring” as the most popular response. For MCNA, the second most popular answer still is “a serious issue(s) that I cannot get resolved and is still outstanding.” DentaQuest has “multiple minor issues that don’t get resolved and keep recurring” as the second most popular response which increased significantly from the year before. More importantly, the number of respondents reporting “no problems at all” with DentaQuest dropped drastically from 2017 to 2018 from 24% to 4%.
A significant number don’t want a new DMO in Texas
As the RFP for the Medicaid dental contract has now gone out, it is significant that 35% of those responding did not want to see a third DMO in Texas. From conversations with providers, it appears that for some the anticipated complications and probable administrative difficulties in accommodating a third company into the market out-weighs any possible benefit they might receive.
Majority providers report being “frustrated”
When asked about their attitude as a Medicaid provider, there is a definite difference from 2017. While no one reported being “very happy” in 2018, the level of satisfaction grew by roughly 10% from the previous year. Perhaps the almost 10% who reported being “very happy” in 2017 have downgraded to “satisfied.” The most popular response this year was “frustrated,” replacing “worried” as the number one answer. Those “very upset” have also grown by 10% from the year before. Those “on the verge of quitting” went up by 5%.
Again, our sample may be skewed towards dissatisfaction as stated above.
There you have it, our 2018 survey results. You can review and download these below.