12/17/2013

Legal action against Delta awaits decision on arbitrator


CDA’s legal action against Delta remains in the preliminary stages, with the parties awaiting appointment of an arbitrator. Delta has requested appointment of a three-arbitrator panel, which delayed the appointment process while the parties attempted to resolve the issue. On Dec. 9, CDA and six individual dentists filed an Amended Demand for Arbitration. Delta is expected to respond to that this week and include its reasoning on why three arbitrators rather than one should be appointed. Afterwards, a decision will be made on how the arbitration will proceed. 

As a result of the ongoing arbitrator selection process, there has been no ruling on a CDA motion, filed on Oct. 2, to maintain the status quo regarding current provisions in provider agreements. This motion challenges Delta’s claim that its amendment to the participating dentist agreements should be effective as of Oct. 4. We expect this issue to be addressed early next year, after the arbitrator selection process is concluded. 

Once an arbitrator is selected, the case will move into the discovery phase. Delta, CDA and the individual dentist claimants will likely engage in this process, which may include the production of documents and information about business practices and fee-setting practices. At this time, Delta has resisted any effort to engage in voluntary discovery. 

In November, more than 3,000 CDA members responded to a CDA email survey sent to all members, for which we have current and valid email addresses, asking if they wanted CDA to act on their behalf to assert their rights under the Participating Dentist Agreement with Delta Dental in the arbitration. CDA sent this survey in response to an argument by Delta that CDA should not be permitted to participate in the arbitration. The fact that more than 3,000 members have now specifically authorized CDA to protect their rights in this arbitration is a strong response to that argument.

CDA will keep members informed about the legal action against Delta. Due to a likely protective order, which we will respect, some of the information presented during the actual arbitration proceedings will likely remain confidential and not released publicly.

Updated information can be found through the Update, e-newsletters and cda.org.





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