The latest ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) survey shows that 1 in 6 dentists reported dropping out of some insurance networks since the start of the year.

Fresh data from the ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) reveals an uptick in dental insurance network dropouts since January.

February’s Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll finds that about 1 in 6 dental practices have dropped out of some insurance networks since January 2023, impacting 17.5% of their patient base on average.

Other findings in the report show that practice schedules remain steady, with dentists across the nation reporting an 85% full practice, on average. The main barriers to a full practice schedule continue to be patient no-shows and cancellations.

Recruitment needs for dental hygienist and dental assistants may be down from a high point in early 2022, but the dental practice personnel shortage is far from over. New data this month reveal that one-third of dentists continue to report they are actively recruiting dental hygienists and dental assistants, and that recruitment remains extremely challenging.

Around 62% of dentists have some degree in confidence in their practice’s outlook for the next six months. However only 55% have confidence in the outlook for the industry in general and only around 30% have any level of confidence in the US economy in general.

The HPI survey also included breakouts by type of practice, size of practice, age, gender and race. Interestingly, surveyed women tended to have a more positive outlook on their practice, the industry, and the economy than men surveyed. Younger dentists also reported having a more optimistic outlook than older dentists.

HPI surveyed 1,200 practicing dentists during the week of February 13 and collected responses to track practice schedule availability, recruitment needs, and economic confidence.

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