CDA is pursuing litigation to require Delta Dental to honor its contractual obligations inherent in the Participating Dentist Agreement between Delta and its participating providers. CDA is also challenging whether the Delta Dental board of directors has violated its legal responsibilities, referred to as fiduciary duties.
You can read the filed complaint for details of the allegations.
Following a hearing in September 2023, the Superior Court agreed that there are sufficient allegations to proceed. While the court did grant Delta Dental’s motion to dismiss certain claims, it also granted CDA and the individual plaintiffs the ability to amend many claims with additional facts for consideration, including claims that Delta Dental officers and directors breached their fiduciary duties.
CDA intends to amend the lawsuit. The case will then move forward into the discovery phase, during which CDA and Delta Dental will exchange facts through document requests and depositions.
Filing the action did not by itself suspend the contract changes that Delta Dental announced. While the lawsuit we filed challenges those actions, their validity necessarily depends upon the ruling of the court. Much will depend on how Delta Dental responds to the claims asserted in the lawsuit. The litigation does challenge the validity of the fee reductions that Delta Dental seeks to impose.
If you are not a Delta Dental provider, you may still benefit from CDA’s actions since other dental benefit plans will take note of CDA’s action on behalf of its members and the plan(s) may reconsider potential actions in the future which could be detrimental to CDA member dentists.
While the process is unpredictable, it is typically measured in years rather than weeks or months. In fact, when we previously filed litigation against Delta Dental, it took nearly 5 years to resolve. There are many factors that can impact the duration of the process, including Delta’s response to the litigation.
Filing the action itself did not suspend the fee reductions. As reflected above, our litigation does challenge the validity of those fee reductions.
You should simply inform them that how this turns out is something that the court and the parties will work through over the next several months (or longer) and that there is no way to reliably predict how this, or any other litigation will turn out. It would be wise to refrain from predictions, and also wise to avoid negative or disparaging comments about Delta Dental, which could even violate the participating provider agreement. If the patient has concerns, they have the right to reach out to the Department of Managed Health Care’s consumer hotline to register a complaint at (888) 466-2219.