Approved in 2015, California State Senate Bill 137 was designed to keep patients aware of which dentists are covered under their insurance plans. The California Dental Association says most dental practices participate in up to 10 different insurance plans and is warning providers to expect more correspondence as the law goes into effect.
Under the new rule, dental practices will have 30 days to respond to requests from each insurance plan they participate with to provide standardized information for inclusion in the plan’s directory of providers. If a provider is no longer accepting patients from a specific plan -- or if they are now open to new patients -- they are allowed five days to notify the insurer.
The CDA advises practices to not only become aware of which plans they are participating with, but to also create dedicated email addresses to handle all requests. Commissioning a single staff member to handle to correspondence is another recommended move.
Although many of the documents necessary to comply with the
law will be stored online, the CDA advises dental practices to keep backups of
all contracts and forms. The CDA offers a Practice Support website to help
manage the correspondence. For more information, visit the association’s
website at www.cda.org.