Dental Market Expansion

Even as many dentists retire, a greater number of dental providers are continuing to enter the field.

October 2019

Today, more dentists are practicing each year as the U.S. dental industry is growing1. According to the Health Policy Institute (HPI), the number of practicing dentists is expected to increase between 2.6 and 4.5 percent between 2017 and 20372.

The increase in dentists is a positive change for consumers, who need a larger dental population to serve what the American Dental Association (ADA) has identified as a steady increase in demand for dental services. However, the rapid growth of this market also means an influx of dental provider data to manage.

Maintaining high quality dentist data is fraught with the same challenges being faced with medical healthcare provider data: frequent changes compromise accuracy, timeliness and completeness. An expanding dental market intensifies these data challenges, so streamlining processes around managing dentist information is particularly important now to ensure consumers have access to the dental care they need.

For CAQH, a strengthened focus on the dental segment began in 2017 through a strategic alliance with the ADA. The collaborative efforts between CAQH and the ADA are helping reduce administrative burden for the dental market by simplifying the credentialing process, directory maintenance, claims administration and more.

Last month, CAQH shared updates on its efforts to streamline business processes in the dental market while participating in NADP Converge, the annual meeting hosted by the National Association of Dental Plans that convenes dental benefit industry leaders. At the conference, CAQH highlighted progress and future plans to address issues with collecting and maintaining dentist data. For example, more than 50,000 dental providers have now completed their profiles in CAQH ProView and the list of participating dental plans continues to expand. In addition, CAQH ProView complies with NCQA and satisfies the dental credentialing requirements for all 50 states.

Notably, CAQH plans to release a simplified user experience in CAQH ProView for dentists in 2020. Sign up to receive dental-related news as it becomes available.

As the dental market continues to grow, CAQH remains committed to helping improve business processes across the healthcare system. Organizations serving the dental industry will be prudent to assess their dentist data management processes now and prepare for managing increasing amounts of information.

 

1 “Supply and Profile of Dentists,” Health Policy Institute, American Dental Association, accessed October 22, 2019, https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/health-policy-institute/data-center/supply-and-profile-of-dentists.

2 Munson B, Vujicic M, “Supply of full-time equivalent dentists in the U.S. expected to increase steadily,” Health Policy Institute Research Brief, American Dental Association (July 2018), accessed October 22, 2019, http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/HPI/Files/HPIBrief_0718_1.pdf.  

 
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