California Dental Association renegotiates Delta Dental of California $65M settlement in reimbursement dispute: 5 key notes

The California Dental Association revised the proposed settlement between Delta Dental of California and the plaintiff class of Premier dentists doubling the amount Delta Dental originally agreed to pay the dentists.

Here are five things to know:

1. CDA originally took legal action against Delta Dental in 2013 after Delta planned to reduce Premier Provider rates by 8 to 12 percent. The legal action eventually represented all Premier dentists and was able to block reimbursement reduction for more than four years, saving the dentists more than $600 million in Premier plan fee reimbursements.

2. The initial settlement was proposed at $34.7 million, however during the settlement process an error was discovered in how Delta calculated the impact of its inflation adjustment percentage.

3. The parties agreed to return to mediation and negotiate a new settlement, which nearly doubled the monetary settlement to $65 million and expanded the number of dentists eligible for awards. The attorney's fees and expenses Delta must pay also grew from $1.5 million to $2.35 million.

4. The terms of the prior settlement required Delta to provide dentists with 120 days notice of changes to PDAs as well as individualized financial analysis of the financial impact of any future rate reduction for all Premier dentists affected.

5. The next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 27 in the San Francisco Superior Court, which will hear the plaintiffs' motion to grant its preliminary approval of the amended settlement agreement. If the court grants approval, all class members will receive an amended settlement agreement in the mail with a written description of the amended agreement.

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