In August 2013, CDA and several individual dentists filed a legal action against Delta Dental challenging, in part, its attempt to change Premier provider agreements. In response to this action, Delta filed a motion to dismiss the entire matter. After considering the motion, the arbitrators rejected Delta Dental's recent motion to dismiss the entire action, and found that there was sufficient evidence to allow the individual dentists to proceed on their claims that Delta's attempt to change key provisions of its participating dentist agreements violated the legal doctrine of "good faith and fair dealing." The decision will allow the arbitration to proceed.
CDA and the individual dentists have believed all along that there is a strong argument that Delta's amendment to reduce fees in a significant and arbitrary manner would be inconsistent with "reasonable expectations" of dentists contracting with Delta under the Premier Dentist Agreement. Further, CDA and the individual dentists argued that Delta's failure to perform the appropriate actuarial analysis, among other things, was not in good faith. The three-arbitrator panel confirmed that there is sufficient evidence to allow the case to proceed.
Though the arbitration hearing itself will likely not begin until either late this year or early 2015, there will now be a scheduling hearing in early August. CDA will continue to provide information to members about this in eNewsletters, the CDA Update and on cda.org.