Hearing date for Delta Dental settlement to be rescheduled

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has delayed dates related to CDA’s proposed settlement agreement with Delta Dental — the June 26 deadline to opt out or object to the proposed settlement and the Aug. 31 hearing on final approval.

The court's action will provide additional time for CDA, Delta Dental and the court to review procedures that were used to estimate the impact of the inflation adjustment percentage (INAP). Delta Dental’s INAP is the basis for the alleged underpayment to class members, and it was used to determine settlement amounts for Premier Providers who had their fees limited by this procedure. It is not yet known how this may affect settlement amounts for eligible Premier Providers; however, in response to a process used by counsel for CDA and the class to audit and verify calculations, Delta Dental has indicated that some amounts were undercalculated. The court has ordered the verification to be complete by Aug. 25, and legal counsel for CDA and the class is working to ensure the process is completed accurately.

Additionally, CDA has requested that Delta Dental postpone any amendments to its Participating Dentists Agreements with Premier Providers until after the settlement with class members is finalized. This would apply to amendments that are part of the settlement, as well as the additional amendments Delta notified providers of in May. This issue is still under negotiation and discussion between the parties.       

The proposed settlement is the result of legal action that CDA filed against Delta Dental on behalf of members to protect their rights to fair dealings after learning of Delta’s plans to reduce Premier Provider rates by 8 to 12 percent. The legal action successfully blocked Delta’s attempt to reduce reimbursement rates for over 3 ½ years, which saved dentists nearly a half-billion dollars in fee reimbursements.         

CDA will continue to keep members informed about the proposed settlement agreement through the Update, newsletter and cda.org. Additionally, class members can get additional information about the settlement by visiting deltadentalofcaliforniasettlement.com.

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After a long legal battle against Delta Dental, CDA achieved a favorable outcome on behalf of dentists regarding Delta's attempt to reduce Premier Provider reimbursement rates. In a letter to members, CDA President Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS, outlines the successful outcome and provides a summary of settlement details.