MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota Dental Association’s (MDA) successfully advocated for legislation addressing third party payer issues such as fee schedule disclosure, method of payment, and network leasing. The bill, which will bring further transparency to the dental plan and provider relationship, was included in the final Commerce budget bill signed into law by Governor Walz.
HF1176/SF1265, introduced by Representative Liz Reyer (DFL – Eagan) and Senator Melissa Wiklund (DFL – Bloomington), had bipartisan support among legislators. The language contained in the bill was the result of collaboration between the Minnesota Dental Association and Delta Dental, the largest dental insurance company in the state, as well as input from the Minnesota Insurance and Financial Services Council.
“This legislation will have a positive impact on all dentists in Minnesota. Further transparency will also positively impact patients, particularly when it comes to network leasing. The MDA expresses its gratitude to bill authors Representative Liz Reyer and Senator Melissa Wiklund, as well as chairs of the Commerce Conference Committee, Representative Zack Stephenson and Senator Matt Klein,” said MDA President Dr. Tim Holland.
Starting August 1, 2023, dental plans are required to do the following:
- Provide dental providers with a fee schedule prior to the dentist signing the contract. Dental plans must also provide, upon request, any further fees or fee schedules beyond what is provided prior to entering into the contract. Dental plans were previously exempt from providing a fee schedule to a provider prior to the contract commencing.
- Provide a method of reimbursement that does not incur a fee. Some dental plans previously provided reimbursement in the form of a virtual credit card that included a per-transaction fee of up to 5%. Dental plans are not prohibited from providing reimbursement in the form of a virtual credit card, but must provide dentists with at least one form of reimbursement that does not contain a fee.
- Disclose any network leasing arrangement and provide the dentist with the opportunity to opt-out without a penalty. Some dental plan contracts obligate the dentist to participate in other third-party payer or managed care networks without full disclosure of fees, processing policies, and written consent from the dentist. This results in confusion among patients and providers. A dentist may unknowingly be required to abide by contract terms and payments that differ from the original contract, while patients may be confronted with a dental practice that has no knowledge of what may be covered by a patient’s plan, leading to potential disruption in the delivery of care.
The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.